Res Publica

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 43–47 | Cite as

The Difference Between Lonely Old Ladies and CCTV Cameras: A Response to Ryberg

  • Benjamin Goold


This article considers the question of whether it is meaningful to speak of privacy rights in public spaces, and the possibility of such rights framing the basis for regulating or restricting the use of surveillance technologies such as closed circuit television (CCTV). In particular, it responds to a recent article by Jesper Ryberg that suggests that there is little difference between being watched by private individuals and CCTV cameras, and instead argues that state surveillance is qualitatively different from (and more problematic than) surveillance by ‘lonely old ladies’.


CCTV Surveillance Privacy rights Public spaces 


  1. Goold, Benjamin J. 2002. Privacy rights and public spaces: CCTV and the problem of the “Unobservable Observer”. Criminal Justice Ethics 21: 21–27.Google Scholar
  2. Goold, Benjamin J. 2006. Open to all? Regulating open street CCTV and the case for “Symmetrical Surveillance”. Criminal Justice Ethics 25: 3–17.Google Scholar
  3. Ryberg, Jesper. 2007. Privacy rights, crime prevention, CCTV, and the life of Mrs. Aremac. Res Publica 13: 127–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Slobogin, Christopher. 2002. Public privacy: Camera surveillance of public places and the right to anonymity. Mississippi Law Journal 72: 213–299.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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