Fascinating infographics have revealed the most surveilled cities in the world where citizens are being watched in their every move.
London has the highest number of cameras outside of China, with an eye-watering 627,707 CCTV monitors set up across the UK’s capital, according to a new study.
The British city is the third most monitored state in the world with 67 cameras per 1000 people always watching every movement – only Shanghai and Beijing in China have more cameras.
Beijing, China’s capital, is the most watched metropolis in the world with 1.15 million cameras as the Communist Party pushes for Big-Brother-style state surveillance. It is closely followed by Shanghai which has one million monitors.
London has the highest number of cameras outside of China, with an eye-watering 627,707 CCTV monitors set up across the UK’s capital, according to a new study
Despite the higher number of cameras in the Chinese cities, London still has more monitors per 1000 people. Beijing has 56 cameras whilst Shanghai has 36 per 1000 people, nearly 50 per cent less than London.
The shocking infographics come at a time when the world’s billionth CCTV surveillance camera is set to be installed this year, which adds up to one camera per every eight people on Earth.
New York City has the highest number and density of CCTV cameras in the entire US, according to the infographics created by Surfshark, a VPN company.
The city has 31,490 cameras, with around 25 installed every square kilometre. In comparison, Los Angeles, the city with the second highest number of cameras in the US, has 22,679 monitors in place.
But Los Angeles has nearly six cameras per 1000 people, which is higher than New York City’s three cameras.
New York City has the highest number and density of CCTV cameras in the entire US with 31,490 which is much higher than the 22,678 monitors in LA
Sydney meanwhile is the most surveilled city in Australia with 60,000 cameras installed across the area watching our daily routines, much higher than the 9,363 cameras installed in Melbourne.
The infographics illustrate just how pervasive surveillance cameras are in the 130 most populous cities across the world.
In China and the US, for example, there is already one camera per 4.1 and 4.6 people, respectively.
London not only has the third highest number of cameras in the world but it also has the highest number of monitors per square kilometre outside of Asia.
For every kilometre you walk across the capital city 399 cameras could have captured your movements. London, with a population of around nine million people, have the fourth highest density of cameras in the world.
Chennai in India has the highest density of cameras in the world, with a staggering 657 monitors capturing its citizens movements for every kilometre they walk. It is followed by Hyderabad, India, with 480 cameras and Harbin in China with 411.
Chennai in India has the highest density of cameras in the world, with a staggering 657 monitors capturing its citizens movements for every kilometre they walk whilst Sydney is the most surveilled city in Australia
Meanwhile, Beijing, despite having the highest number of cameras in the world, it is ranked tenth for density of the monitors.
But six of the top ten cities with the highest density of CCTV cameras are in China; three are in India.
China has been building a mass surveillance network, which currently boasts about 200 million AI-powered cameras.
The surveillance network has been billed as the world’s most powerful facial-recognition system and aims to identify any one of its 1.4 billion citizens within three seconds.
Critics, however, have voiced concerns over the system, claiming it’s a way for the government to invade citizens’ privacy and restrict their freedom.
Many have also compared it to a dystopian system run by a fictional state leader, Big Brother, in George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’.
In financial hub Shanghai (pictured), every 8.8 residents are watched by one security camera
China has been building a mass surveillance network, which currently boasts about 200 million AI-powered cameras
But for people who want a break from the Big Brother-style surveillance and want the best chance of staying in the shadows, they should visit Alexandria in Egypt and Bekasi in West Java, Indonesia.
People in Alexandria are free to roam without the feeling of being watched every step they take as the city only has 122 cameras, with less than one camera per square kilometre.
Meanwhile, those enjoying the sunshine in Bekasi only have to deal with 19 cameras in their city. They would only see one camera – and sometimes none at all – if they travelled one kilometre.
Dom Dimas, Head of Research at SurfShark told MailOnline: ‘The general message of the research on CCTV surveillance around the world is to show the scope of such activities and highlight the implications they might have on people’s privacy.
‘Similarly as tracking people on the internet, often surveillance is cloaked under the promise of maintaining order and public safety.
‘However, its consequences can be far more overreaching and infringe people’s privacy, while the general public have little options to opt out from it.’
A CCTV camera in King’s Cross, London – where police are experimenting with the use of facial recognition technology which critics say is a ‘China-style surveillance tool’
In London, CCTV was first used temporarily during the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and started to be installed permanently in the 1960s.
Since then the city has frequently been a target for terrorists ranging from the IRA in the 1980s and 1990s to more recent attacks by Islamic extremists.
London has also faced the threats of hooliganism at its many sports grounds as well as crime on one of the world’s most extensive public transport networks.
A 2017 report by the Police Foundation said the 1993 murder of James Bulger in Liverpool, who was shown on CCTV being led away from his mother by his two 10-year-old killers, ‘undoubtedly’ fuelled support for more surveillance in the UK.
Before the Bulger killing, CCTV had mostly been used against traffic offenders but the case illustrated how it could be used more widely, the Police Foundation said.
The campaign group Big Brother Watch said last year that the use of live facial recognition was ‘one of the most serious threats to civil liberties of recent years’.
‘This China-style mass surveillance tool risks turning CCTV cameras into biometric checkpoints and citizens into walking ID cards,’ they said.
London transport bosses first experimented with CCTV while building the Victoria Line in the 1960s. From the 1970s onwards, it became a convenient way to phase out train guards on the Underground because drivers could monitor what was happening on CCTV.
The Tube network now has 13,000 cameras of its own, not including 700 on the Docklands Light Railway and 600 on the London Overground. London’s thousands of buses have also been fitted with their own surveillance systems since the 1980s.