Local News

If You're in Public, Camera's Eye<BR> is Fair Game

Posted May 15, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— It may become the most infamous event ever caught on tape. Prosecutors in Colorado say Timothy McVeigh was behind the wheel of that Rider truck on its way to bomb the Murrow Federal Building in Oklahoma City. But what's not so amazing is that the event was recorded. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, and if you think you're not being watched, you couldn't be more wrong.

More and more these days, surveillance cameras are becoming more a part of our lives. A surveillance camera is part of everyone's life who passes throught the lobby of WRAL. It's getting to the point that everywhere you go these days, someone is watching.

Crabtree Valley Mall is a well observed leader in surveillance. Seventy-two cameras watch everything, all the time. A security force of VCR's gets it all on tape. We parked our news van in one of the many, crowded parking decks. The Crabtree Police found it in less than a minute.

They're not just watching you at the mall. In Winston Salem, police use cameras to watch traffic, and watch people. Many police departments in the triangle are taking a look at a similar approach to surveillance. A lot of people probably don't realize just how close technology is getting.

Back at the mall, we asked the Crabtree Police to show us how close they could move in on someone. They could read the writing on Fred Platt's hat and could tell what he was eating. We tracked him down and told him we were watching him.

Most people Mark Roberts talked to said they don't mind a little surveillance in public. They just worry about it carrying over into their personal lives.

Mark Roberts reporting