I remember going to Toronto around 2002 and recalling how many video cameras were all over the place. I bet it wasn't any better in the 90s either.
What type of anonymity are we talking about? Personally in large cities I enjoy the sheer fact that other people do not know me. I can go to a bar and make a total fool of myself and no one will even care or remember. Sure there are a trillion video cameras around and if someone really wanted to they could follow my footsteps through my boring life.
Contrast that to small towns, where I may be "anonymous" but the corner store clerk knows my name and people all around recognize me even though it would be harder for an alphabet soup agency to track me. Try and make a fool of yourself at the local watering hole and you'll end up with a bad rep.