French Debate Video Surveillance Effectiveness

By: John Honovich, Published on Nov 20, 2009

Similar to the heated debates video surveillance raises in the UK, a November 2009 released report on video surveillance effectiveness has created fresh controversy.

The official report is available in French [link no longer available] and a partial translation can be read in English.

Proponents and detractors are both using the report to justify their positions.

In August 2009, LeFigaro released an article praising the effectiveness of video surveillance based on early, unreleased version of the report (see English translation).

In November 2009, when the official report was released, LeFigaro was criticized and the final version was quoted showing significant concerns about the effectiveness of the systems.

From the report itself, the conclusion:

"Videoprotection devices have demonstrated their effectiveness in prevention of crime and their impact on prevention exceeds the scope of videoproteges areas. While they undoubtedly provide support to many investigations and arrests, their impact on the overall rate remains unsolved moderate due to a density of cameras often inadequate, or material that not always accurate identification of individuals." [via Google Translate]

For reference, see our 2008 analysis and examination of over 20 public video surveillance deployments.

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