Losing out on the right to privacy in the public domain in the name

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Earlier this year, Hyderabad found itself ranked among the top 20 cities in the world with the most intense surveillance in public spaces. Hyderabad police installed three lakh surveillance cameras, an average of 30 for every 1000 citizens, in the last six years. Now the state has decided to upgrade their number to a million (10 lakh). Also, new apartments are not being sanctioned unless they install surveillance cameras. All these measures have serious consequences to the right to privacy in public places.          Surveillance cameras, when they were first introduced, were intended to monitor real-time vehicular traffic. After their integration into the control and command centre through the internet, these public eyes were supposed to help in solving criminal cases and monitor religious processions. Hyderabad recorded 17.8 per cent fewer crimes in five years and this is credited to the installation of CCTVs. However, evidence is necessary to validate these claims. While the offences such as public cheating, chain snatching and murders have reduced in number, crimes against women and rapes have increased substantially in 2019.National crime data shows a similar mixed trend in crimes in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai though no comparable surveillance mechanism exists. Even in Britain, where these measures originated first (unsurprisingly, …

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