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CCTV, or“closed circuit television”, is a television system comprised of a camera (or set of cameras) monitoring a specific protected area, with additional equipment used for viewing and/or storing the CCTV footage. The term originates from the fact that, as opposed to broadcast television, CCTV is usually a “closed” rather than an “open” system, with a limited number of viewers.

CCTV has traditionally been used for surveillance in specific locations with increased security needs, such as banks, airports and military installations. In industrial plants, CCTV has been used to observe processes remotely, for example, in hazardous environments. Increasing use of CCTV in public places has caused debate over public surveillance versus privacy.

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