Surveillance is the monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people and often in a surreptitious manner. It most usually refers to observation of individuals or groups by government organizations, but disease surveillance, for example, is monitoring the progress of a disease in a community.

Surveillance is very useful to maintain social control, recognize and monitor threats, and prevent/investigate criminal activity. With the advent of programs such as the Total Information Awareness program and ADVISE, technologies such as high speed surveillance computers and biometrics software now possess an unprecedented ability to monitor the activities of their subjects.


Surveillance cameras

Surveillance cameras are video cameras used for the purpose of observing an area. They are often connected to a recording device, IP network, and/or watched by a security guard,law enforcement officer. Cameras and recording equipment used to be relatively expensive and required human personnel to monitor camera footage. Now with cheaper production techniques, it is simple and inexpensive enough to be used in home security systems, and for everyday surveillance. Analysis of footage is made easier by automated software that organizes digital video footage into a searchable database, and by automated video analysis software (such as VIRAT and HumanID) . The amount of footage is also drastically reduced by motion sensors which only record when motion is detected.

Biometric surveillance

Biometric surveillance refers to technologies that measure and analyze human physical and/or behavioral characteristics for authentication, identification, or screening purposes.Examples of physical characteristics include fingerprints, DNA, and facial patterns. Examples of mostly behavioral characteristics include gait (a person's manner of walking) or voice.






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