UK has the highest density of CCTV in the world. Its GCHQ surveillance is considered highly effective. Commercial use of Big Data is on the rise. People are increasingly concerned about their privacy. However, UK citizens are fairly conservative. They trust the state to protect them and, in doing so, to find a balance and take appropriate steps. But the issues are complex and at an early stage of debate.
The Ministry for Internal Administration (MAI) of the Portuguese government has green-lighted a proposal to gather live audio streams coming from the public surveillance cameras now under the management of the Public Security Police (PSP) and the National Republican Guard, the two main LEAs operating in the state.
The operation is restricted for now to a Lisbon district (Barrio Alto) and will not require any judicial order.
Artificial intelligence is giving surveillance cameras digital brains to match their eyes, letting them analyze live video with no humans necessary. This could be good news for public safety, helping police and first responders more easily spot crimes and accidents and have a range of scientific and industrial applications. But it also raises serious questions about the future of privacy and poses novel risks to social justice.