What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Camera & Wire Tap Surveillance?

by Mindi Orth

In today’s digital age, law enforcement officials and even employers may find it easier than ever to take advantage of camera and wiretap surveillance. Surveillance cameras now line many public streets and workplace locations in an attempt to monitor activity and law enforcement agencies continue to use wiretapping to aid in investigations. Although this is becoming more commonplace, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using this technology.

Security

Using surveillance cameras potentially increases security in the areas where they reside. Often this is because the camera acts as a deterrent. For example, a camera installed in a workplace supply room may stop an employee from stealing an item stored in the room. Cameras installed on public streets may deter would-be criminals from acting out. If criminal activity does take place, the surveillance cameras may provide employers the information needed to take disciplinary action and law enforcement officials the evidence needed to make an arrest.

Evidence Gathering

Both camera and wiretap surveillance may assist with evidence gathering. Cameras may show individuals performing certain activities while wiretaps may capture crucial information. For example, a wiretap may provide law enforcement officials with the time and location of a drug deal or other criminal act. In the workplace, camera surveillance may record an employee repeatedly coming to work late, stealing or acting in a manner unbefitting the company. The employer can gather this evidence and confront the employee accordingly.

Invasion of Privacy

The biggest disadvantage of camera and wiretap surveillance is the perceived invasion of privacy. Although wiretaps require legal authorization from a judge, some may bypass this legality and tap a line without permission. This is an invasion of privacy. In addition, some view being on camera as an invasion of privacy, whether in the workplace or on a public street.

Questionable Reliability

Another disadvantage of this type of surveillance is the potential for unreliable information. This is more common in wiretapping, where a lot of unnecessary information is often overheard. This information can lead to false leads and may result in a waste of resources. In addition, incorrect interpretation of barely audible information may result in false leads or accusations.

About the Author

Mindi Orth began writing in 1996 as a technical writer for a consulting firm. She has experience in business documentation and has authored training and instructional materials. Orth holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baldwin-Wallace College.

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