News Views: Let them know

Just look at the role video played in all the charges stemming from last year’s Stanley Cup riot.

Like it or not, we’re being watched.

Whether going to the bank, to buy clothes or coffee, or on our way to the pool, at the border, surveillance cameras record our steps, and faces.

Even police officers have to mind how they act as people pull out cell phones and record encounters.

It’s unnerving, this perceived loss of privacy.

But it’s also necessary, foremost for safety, as a deterrent for crime, also to help maintain civil obedience. Just look at the role video played in all the charges stemming from last year’s Stanley Cup riot. You think many folks will be throwing garbage cans through store windows if the Canucks don’t win  it all this year?

The riot alone proved just how untrustworthy people are.

Businesses in downtown Maple Ridge know all about that.

Still, people have a right to know they are being recorded.

Federal and B.C. privacy laws require businesses to post signs telling the public if they’re being surveilled. Some comply, others not fully.

Regardless, with advancing technology, and being so economical, the commercial use of video surveillance is now commonplace.

But where does our right to privacy start? Where does it end? Once we lock the front door?

We’re at the point it’s safe to assume and accept that many if not most of our movements in public are being recorded.

That make some people uncomfortable.

For others, if you’re doing nothing wrong, doing what you believe in, does it matter who’s watching? What can you do about it?

If would be ideal if surveillance wasn’t so prevalent. But there will always be people looking to take advantage of others, take from them, and those are the ones we need to watch.

For the rest, however, put up a sign, at least tell people they’re being recorded.

– The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

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