Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the city has the highest number of CCTVs per square mile in the world.
He cited a Forbes India report on the most surveilled cities of the world.
The Main Figures
Delhi tops the list with 1,826 cameras per square mile.
London is at the second position with 1,138 cameras per square mile.
Other Indian cities included in the list include Chennai in third place with 609.9 CCTV cameras.
Mumbai comes in at number 18 with 157.4 CCTV cameras per square mile.
Other Interesting Findings
China emerged as the top country in the world in terms of CCTV surveillance.
Out of 770 million cameras worldwide, 54% of those are in China.
Comparitech, the firm which compiled the data, said that there is “little correlation between the number of public CCTV cameras and crime or safety.
Government CCTV Project
Kejriwal complimented officers and engineers of the Delhi government who worked to complete the installation project and accomplished it in a short time.
The project is part of the government’s larger action plan towards women’s safety- which was also a key aspect in the Aam Aadmi Party manifesto in the 2020 assembly elections.
At present, there are 2.75 lakh CCTVs installed across 67 out of 70 constituencies in Delhi.
A survey is being undertaken to determine spots to install 1.38 lakh more CCTVs.
Kejriwal received flak for his tweet from Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF).
The New Delhi-based NGO works towards securing online freedom, privacy, digital rights and liberties.
It had served a legal notice to Kejriwal back in 2019 in which it called out the absence of a legal framework to oversee the footage recorded through these cameras.
It demanded that further installation be suspended.
Concerns Over Privacy And Aggressive Surveillance
In a tweet, the group said that CCTV deployment has neither a legal basis nor safeguards.
Privacy of citizens is under threat as the captured footage gets shared with Resident welfare association and Market Associations.
This encourages “private, warrantless surveillance across Delhi.”
Government Gives Reassurance
The government defended itself and said that CCTV feeds are “highly secure” as it is accessible only to authorised users.
They further said that the government “ensures the security and privacy of all feeds collected.”