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If you're inclined to avoid the cameras, go ahead. Here's a map of the known cameras in the city to help you plan your route or figure out which way to angle your fedora to shade your face. The NYCLU report is concerned that the cameras are often disguised, that they "remain hidden to the untrained eye." But in the same sentence, the report notes that "the corner deli" or other shopkeepers often operate cameras. Small shopkeepers have been using security cameras for many years, but even the most paranoid among us still go in to pick up some beef jerky when we pay for our gas. Our behavior suggests that we are already at peace with having our images captured on video.
Of course, issues like required surveillance on private property and protections for citizens who want to film police should be aired in the public square. Police occasionally arrest bystanders for taping a police encounter, an activity that should clearly be protected. But the debate shouldn't ignore the fact that the kind of personal privacy many worry about losing to street corner cameras has already mostly been lost to credit cards, EZ Passes, and cameras in your ATM or deli. And more cameras and records, not fewer, may be the best guarantee against abuse of police power in the age of zero privacy.
Katherine Mangu-Ward is an associate editor of reason.