Surveillance of the public using CCTV is common in many areas around the world. In recent years, the use of body worn video cameras has been introduced as a new form of surveillance, often used in law enforcement, with cameras located on a police officer's chest or head. Video surveillance has generated significant debate about balancing its use with individuals' right to privacy even when in public.
In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room, for example when the environment is not suitable for humans. CCTV systems may operate continuously or only as required to monitor a particular event. A more advanced form of CCTV, utilizing digital video recorders (DVRs), provides recording for possibly many years, with a variety of quality and performance options and extra features (such as motion detection and email alerts). More recently, decentralized IP cameras, some equipped with megapixel sensors, support recording directly to network-attached storage devices, or internal flash for completely stand-alone operation.
The first CCTV system was installed by Siemens AG at Test Stand VII in Peenemünde, Nazi Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V-2 rockets. The noted German engineer Walter Bruch was responsible for the technological design and installation of the system.
In the U.S. the first commercial closed-circuit television system became available in 1949, called Vericon. Very little is known about Vericon except it was advertised as not requiring a government permit.