HOUSTON — There’s never a moment in your life when you could escape the possibility of being recorded. Your phone, computer, laptop, tablet, ATMs, storefronts, dash cams, street corners: it’s exhausting to think about. And yet, 93 percent of us drastically underestimate how many times a day we’re caught on camera.
In downtown Houston, the eye in the sky is always watching.
Security Consultant Dennis Maldonado gets paid to spot surveillance. In just a 4-block straight shot from the Main Street Square Station to Discovery Green, the amount of camera lenses he encounters is surprising.
“If you count all the cameras we saw on the street, on the intersection and take into account all the cabs, public service vehicles, all the cameras inside the buildings, we passed 40-50 cameras,” Maldonado said.
That’s just the ones he could see! Not all the cameras easily streamable, or even necessarily recording— but 50? The average big-city American encounters 75 cameras a day.
And with Super Bowl LI in town, the surveillance gets even more intense.
“In the City of Houston we have over 900 cameras throughout the area we partner with other agencies as well, especially in the areas with the highest density of the population,” Michael Walter with the City of Houston said.
“For the Super Bowl, what we did is partner with some private sector companies to be able to augment our existing camera capabilities,” Walter explained.
There’s no escape. As soon as tents or other structures go up and block views, new cameras shine a light on those blind spots.
If you constantly feel like someone’s watching you, they probably are! But if you’re in public, you have no expectation of privacy anyway.
Now if you’re worried about the cameras behind closed doors…post-it notes make for fantastic lens covers.