Cameras on Campus: Invasion of Privacy or the Key to Safety?

"Without the cameras, we won’t be able to bring wallets back or anything else, like cellphones or laptops"



Whilst security cameras may seem like a rather new addition to the AUC, Head of Security, Mohamed Ebeid, tells us that, “cameras are important for the security and safety of all the community.”

“What I heard from di erent students is that the cameras are limiting their freedom to speak,” said Ebeid. Ebeid did not see how that could be the case, explaining that “students can do whatever they need to do.”

He said that the cameras are only used when there is “something wrong, like [someone] breaking something or getting into a ght”

The head of security shared a story about two students who were sitting on the steps near Quick when one student accidentally left his wallet behind. The wallet had his license, money and IDs.

“We used the cameras and got the guy who took the wallet in a second. This is a very small case, but it proves why we put the cameras here,” said Ebeid.

“Without the cameras, it would have been lost. Without the cameras, we won’t be able to bring wallets back or anything else, like cellphones or laptops,” stressed Ebeid.
While there was some speculation that cameras may be added in classrooms, Ebeid clari ed that this would not happen. However, placing cameras in corridors is being considered, “so we can track the theft,” he explained.

Ebeid shared that the decision to install cameras is not recent. “It was a big project. This takes a lot of money and many approvals. I heard that the community says this happened after the previous strike which is wrong,” stated Ebeid.

“The cameras have nothing to do with the previous strike. It’s not there to monitor the students’ behaviour. Students can do anything they like, even if it’s a strike. They have the right to strike. However, if a student breaks the window with a chair, I will use the camera against him. I’m not here to watch the students. I’m only here to protect the whole community,” clari ed the head of security.

Ebeid shared another story of a time when a student su ered a stroke while alone in a tunnel. The cameras helped identify the crisis and the security managed to rescue him.

“So cameras are important to know what is going on,” added Ebeid.
The head of security explained that security plans need to move accordingly with the situation in Egypt. Previously the country was relatively safer, but “now, we can’t predict what might happen an hour from now. We need to be prepared for anything,” said Ebeid.
Ebeid said that a person cannot open the smallest market without a licence for security, such as cameras. He said that since security guards cannot act as a replacement, “security cameras are used everywhere in other universities in Egypt and the whole world.
“Regardless, Ebeid confirms that as long as students abide by university’ policies, they have nothing to worry.