According to a study by research website Comparitech, most of the world’s most surveilled cities are located in China. The country has been making headlines for its generous use of surveillance technology and is featured heavily throughout the whole ranking that looked at the 150 most populous cities worldwide, excluding those for which insufficient data was available.
The Chinese city of Taiyuan, located in the Shanxi province roughly 300 miles Southwest of Beijing, tops the list with 120 public CCTV cameras per 1,000 inhabitants. The highest-ranked non-Chinese city is London, also notorious for its strict surveillance of public spaces, with 67 cameras per 1,000 people, with Los Angeles the highest-ranked U.S. city in the ranking with 6 cameras per 1,000 inhabitants.
CCTV technology is controversial in many places around the world, with proponents touting its benefits for fighting crime and opponents cautious about surveillance’s potential to be used as a tool of public control and to violate privacy rights. The makers of the survey said that they found little correlation between lower crime rates or a heightened feeling of security and surveillance in the cities surveyed.