Research analysis conducted by London-based information provider IHS Markit found that video surveillance in the US is “nearly on par” with China.
According to the IHS Markit report, China had 349 million cameras last year, which translates into one camera for every 4.1 of its citizens. Meanwhile, the US installed 70 million surveillance cameras, or one camera per 4.6 Americans.
The report’s author, IHS Markit analyst Oliver Philippou, explained that “coverage of the surveillance market has focused heavily on China’s massive deployments of cameras.”
“What’s received far less attention is the high level of penetration of surveillance cameras in the United States,” Philippou added. “Future debate over mass surveillance is likely to concern America as much as China.”
Although security cameras in the US are most commonly used by private-sector retail and other commercial establishments like hotels and restaurants, the government is certainly plugged into the surveillance infrastructure.
Detroit’s police department recently set up security cameras with facial recognition technology to monitor public housing residents. In Baltimore, the police have conducted secret aerial surveillance of residents for years.
Furthermore, police departments teamed up with Amazon to promote doorbell cameras among homeowners.