The lower house of Parliament in Germany has approved amendments to the Federal Data Protection Act placing a greater emphasis on surveillance, BBC News reports. The alterations will give federal police the ability to scan license plates and put more weight on security when shopping centers apply to install video cameras. While the amendments have been made in response to several terrorist attacks, professionals are not sure if expanded surveillance will be effective. "I am not aware of any studies that prove the effectiveness of video surveillance as a deterrent. In some cases, criminal activity has decreased after the installation of video surveillance, but that has always been part of a bigger number of measures," said University of Tubingen's Tobias Matzner. "Regarding the threats to security by terrorism and other violent actors, a deterrent effect is rather unlikely."
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