Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | The Tampa “Smart CCTV” Experiment

Title:
The Tampa “Smart CCTV” Experiment
Author:
Kelly Gates: Communication, University of California, San Diego, USA
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.102567
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2010
Volume:
2
Theme:
Theme: Surveillance
Pages:
67-89
No. of pages:
23
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2010-03-05


In June 2001, a neighborhood in Tampa, Florida called Ybor City became the first urban area in the United States to be fitted with a “Smart CCTV” system. Visionics Corporation began a project with the Tampa Police Department to incorporate the company’s facial recognition technology (FRT), called FaceIt, into an existing 36-camera CCTV system covering several blocks along two of the main avenues. However, this “smart surveillance” experiment did not go as smoothly as its planners had hoped. After a two-year free trial period, the TPD abandoned the effort to integrate facial recognition with the CCTV system in August 2003, citing its failure to identify a single wanted individual. This essay chronicles the experiment with FRT in Ybor City and argues that the project’s failure should not be viewed as solely a technical one. Most significantly, the failure of the Ybor City “Smart CCTV” experiment reveals the extent to which new surveillance technologies represent sites of struggle over the extent and limits of police power in advanced liberal democracies.

Keywords: CCTV; Smart CCTV; smart surveillance; video surveillance; facial recognition technology; police technology; police power

Volume 2, Theme: Theme: Surveillance, Article 5, 2010

Author:
Kelly Gates
Title:
The Tampa “Smart CCTV” Experiment:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.102567
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  • Volume 2, Theme:: Theme: Surveillance, Article 5, 2010

    Author:
    Kelly Gates
    Title:
    The Tampa “Smart CCTV” Experiment:
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.102567
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
  • Matthias Pocs (2013). Legally compatible design of future biometric systems for crime prevention. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 26(1-2): 36. DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2013.747659
  • Norma Möller & Jens Hälterlein (2013). Privacy issues in public discourse: the case of “smart” CCTV in Germany. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 26(1-2): 57. DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2013.723396
  • Francisca Grommé (2016). Provocation: Technology, resistance and surveillance in public space. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 34(6): 1007. DOI: 10.1177/0263775816649183
  • Francisca Grommé (2015). Turning Aggression into an Object of Intervention: Tinkering in a Crime Control Pilot Study. Science as Culture, 24(2): 227. DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2014.992331
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