Over the last two decades the use of video surveillance has grown in scope and numbers. However, research on the national contexts that have driven such developments tends to concentrate on Northern and Western Europe. This article explores the situation of CCTV in Spain, its legal framework, perceived shortcomings, public perceptions and specificity – such as a pre-9/11 concern for terrorism but its minimal impact on the justification for CCTV, a rights-based and a priori control of video surveillance devices and a deployment pattern that differs from those identified in the literature on CCTV at the European and global level. In providing an account on how Spain has joined the ‘surveillance society’, it exposes a picture of unevenness, legal loopholes and resistance, and provides a unique overview of CCTV deployment in a Southern-European, post-authoritarian country.
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