You are Under Surveillance; Nanjing’s Upgraded CCTV Cameras

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You are Under Surveillance; Nanjing’s Upgraded CCTV Cameras
Image courtesy VCG.COM

In today’s Nanjing, thousands of CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras can now be seen along roads. Quite different from those in the past, for security reasons, today’s surveillance cameras are not only far more intelligent, but have also proliferated to every corner of the city.

The next time you duck into an alley entrance looking for some privacy, bear in mind there are nearly 1,200 surveillance cameras on the roads of Nanjing, and most of them have recently been updated to a totally new system. 

As regards traffic, in the past, surveillance cameras relied on sensors under the road to help them detect cars which run a red light. Now, they employ ultra-high definition cameras and AI technology to detect violating vehicles.

For the pedestrians, one of the most interesting utilisations of surveillance cameras must be the crossing near Xinjiekou which can catch people who cross when the light is red. Today’s system will spot jaywalkers, identify them using face recognition technology and then display their name on a nearby screen.

While this has indeed made more and more people pay attention, the system has also come in for criticism, on account many believe the release of their name on the display violates their privacy. 

The “Big Brother” part of all this is to be found in the punishment. Violators will receive a text message that gives them a lesson in traffic safety, leading to a physical class. Those who do not attend the class during the following month shall be subject to further penalties.

Without any doubt, considerably less people now cross the road on a red compared to in the past. “Since there are so many people in Nanjing, for them all to attend traffic classes one by one is impossible, so surveillance cameras on zebra crossings are really an effective way,” Bin Song, a Nanjing citizen, told The Nanjinger.