Beware, You Are On TV
On Mar 10, 2014
|Trivandrum: Though no one questions the boons of technology, there is little disagreement that it is invading our privacy more with each passing second. Be it a call on your mobile for election campaigning or a marketing call from some company, the first question that arises is how they had an access to our contact details. What else would they know? In the name of marketing, it seems, we are selling our private spaces to agencies that, usually, are ready to make profit with fewer morals.
We are never ready for such an invasion. They never warn us. Now, the invasion to our privacy is happening even when we are having our food. Yes, there is an upcoming trend that encourages the usage of closed-circuit television (CCTV) in restaurants. The restaurants which use CCTV never caution us that we are being closely watched. Is not that the limit!
Shyam Vettooran, proprietor of Vettooran Technologies,an outlet for IT and security appliances, says, “Many hotels and restaurants buy CCTVs for their surveillance nowadays.”
Yentha interviewed a restaurant at Palayam. They were having CCTVs in the dining area of the restaurant. The management was polite enough to say that these cameras were not used for keeping a watch on customers. They explained, “We use CCTVs to keep an eye on our staff, provide easy seat arrangement, let the customer see our cooking and in general to keep a note of everything.” But he adds, “It is also useful to clear any misunderstanding between the customers and staff.”
Another restaurant manager was more blatant. He explained, “We use CCTV because, thus we can address our customer’s complaints. It often happens that the customer forgets what food he had. CCTV is useful in such cases (is this a joke of some kind!!!).”
Many star hotels are also using CCTVs in their dining areas. Mascot hotel and Hilton Garden Inn use it for one reason or another. An exception is ‘The South Park Hotel’ that does not use CCTVs in their dining area.
“This is not right. It can be misused. They can have CCTVs at entrance and payment counters if it is very necessary for them to have surveillance. I cannot enjoy food if I know people are constantly watching me. We will avoid, as much as possible, such restaurants that have CCTVs at dining area,” says Gopi Vijayan, who works in a private company at Kowdiar.
Sudhir Kumar, a former social activist, says, “Having CCTV at dining areas is very disturbing. However professional the restaurants owners are, there will be some element of doubt in our mind on whether they are doing their job with complete sincerity.”
“CCTVs are necessary but it must not invade personal space more than what is required. They could be fixed in the entrance of the dining area which balances privacy and security,” says Sajan, an IT employee.
Though police recommend CCTVs in public places where people meet, there is nothing mandatory about the same. Often, CCTVs are placed with the initiative of the proprietor.
Rules cannot be made on each and every case. Using of CCTVs in restaurants should be judged on ethical grounds.