Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'll Be Watching You

A few months ago I posted about how nice it is that there isn't a huge police presence here.  I rarely see cops, and if I do they certainly aren't arresting or ticketing anyone.  They usually look like they are trying to find ways to kill time.

This is largely due to the fact that there is closed circuit television everywhere here.  Every intersection, every government building, every school, every academy.  Really, it's everywhere.  I'm reminded of this each time I enter my apartment complex.  Two red eyes are staring at me.

Do Koreans see this as a problem?  From my experience they don't.  In fact it's seen as a remedy for lots of problems.  Get in a car wreck and can't tell who hit who?  Check the tape.  Thinking about graffiti in the elevator?  Think twice, there's a camera in there.  Students got in a fight at school and can't figure out who started it?  Look at the CCTV.  It's so much part of life here that schools are actually calling for more cameras, to try and curb bullying (and in turn curb the astonishing student suicide rate).

There isn't much crime here.  There is CCTV everywhere.  This gets to the ol' chicken and the egg debate, but one does wonder...is the loss of your privacy a good thing?

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