Chicago Near Top Of 'Most Surveilled' Cities

Andy Dahn
August 15, 2019 - 3:26 pm
Camera Lens

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago finds itself near the top of a new list of the most-surveilled cities in the world.

Comparitech's surveillance study looked at the number of Closed Circuit Television Cameras per 1,000 people.

"Eight out of the ten most-surveilled cities that we looked at were in China," Editor Paul Bischoff said. "The only two that made the Top Ten that weren't in China were London and Atlanta, but Chicago was also close to the top."

Bischoff said at number 13, Chicago has an estimated 13 cameras for every 1,000 residents.

"Most of them are used for law enforcement and security purposes, although some may be used for operational purposes. Traffic monitoring and things like that,” he said.

One part of the study that surprised Bischoff the most?

"There's nothing that we found that shows that more cameras make for a safer city."

He said the cameras are nothing new. What is new are concerns about how they're being used.

"I think the biggest difference now is that all these cameras are digital," Bischoff said. "That means video feeds can be piped to some server off in some remote location and then used for things like facial recognition."