Welcome South, (Big) Brother.
Atlanta is a global city after all, at least when it comes to spying on its citizens and visitors. Henry Grady's "brave and beautiful city" ranks 10th in the world in public street surveillance, with nearly 11,000 security cameras watching the sidewalks, according to a recent AJC article.
With 15.6 cameras per 1,000 residents, Atlanta ia the only American city to make the top 10 list, according to the Comparitech report. Eight of the top surveillance cities are in China, which holds the top five spots. London, with 58 cameras per 1,000 residents, ranks sixth. Chongqing, in central China, is the world's top snoop, with 158 cameras per 1,000 people.
Years ago, Atlanta aspired to be an international city. Little did we know it would be for video surveillance.
Go to a strip club, the giant eye will see you. Tipsy after too many drinks at lunch? Surprise, you're on candid camera. Starting a new relationship? The camera knows. Those 11,000 unblinking eyes will see what books or magazines you've purchased.
Notoriously repressive Singapore and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates rank below Atlanta. Perhaps Atlanta can hold on to the camera-security lead as the UAB's Dubai's airport closes in on Hartsfield-Jackson as the world's busiest.
City police keeping watch on the city's streets from monitors in the Loudermilk Visual Intregration Center downtown say the prying on Peachtree reduces crime. But the ACLU says the watching handcuffs personal freedom.
If you're going to see the Falcons or Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, enjoy the game. The city will be watching you.