People just love watching CCTV, according to preliminary results of the Shoreditch Digital Bridge pilot. The Shoreditch scheme links people's living-room television sets with Internet access in the United Kingdom. It also gives the ability to view the hook-up from local CCTV.
The over-arching aim of the project was to bridge the digital divide and improve take-up of online public services by giving TV-Internet access to people in poor areas, according to The Register. Yet residents have taken to the scheme to report anti-social behaviour, attracting viewing figures "equivalent of prime time, week-day broadcast programming".
Official stats showed that a higher percentage of people tuned in to look through their local CCTV cameras (about 27 per cent of those with access) than watched Channel4's hit snoop show, Big Brother (about 24 per cent).
Digital Bridge also brought about a 600 per cent rise in reports of graffiti. And a 200 per cent increase in reports of vandalism.
It is worth noting that the CCTV are handicapped by low resolution to prevent watchers from [easily] identifying the people captured by the cameras. Yet residents appear to be more bothered by the restriction in resolution than the implications for civil liberties.
What are your thoughts on living in a neighbourhood where your neighbours can watch you on CCTV via their living room TV sets?
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.