Why Surveillance Cameras Might Be Bad for Creative Economies

surveillance-camerasSurveillance cameras now exist – often unseen – on city streets in the hundreds, mounted over ATMs, from street lights, at the entrances to private apartment buildings and in public parks. Efforts to map them in Manhattan, for example, have counted more than 2,000 such cameras, each adding to an increasingly comprehensive network that is creating – depending on your point of view – either safer streets or a surveillance state.

Critics of this increasingly ubiquitous technology argue that so many electronic eyes have become invasive. They violate your privacy. They’re redefining what it means to walk through public space. But here is one more novel argument that might cause unconvinced politicians to reconsider the social costs of heightened security: What if surveillance cameras are also bad for creativity and innovation? Read the rest of this entry »