Ever feel like you're being watched at the park? It's not just the birds and squirrels keeping an eye on your whereabouts. Many city parks now include a series of surveillance cameras designed to surreptitiously monitor park-goers.
From a sleepy city park in Elk Grove, Calif., to Central Park's bustling scene in New York City, cameras — at $10,000 or more a pop — are silently recording our movements. Although the digital feeds aren't typically monitored, they are searchable. For instance, software can zero in on just the blue cars going south or one person in multiple places. This makes them an increasingly important factor in crime investigations [source: Henn].
Cameras installed in a Flushing, Mich., park help track down the people responsible for vandalism. In 2011 a group of perpetrators confessed to vandalizing picnic tables once they learned their actions had been filmed. On the flip side, cameras in one Seattle park were removed after community complaints of intrusion [source: Rich].