CCTV Cameras – The ongoing debate
There is an ongoing debate and various activists around the world destroying CCTV cameras – but why?
If you are walking down your high street, knocked over, beaten up and your wallet or hand bag stolen – wouldn’t you be thankful there were cameras capturing the whole event and the perpetrator.
CCTV can be used to prove you were where you said you were in an investigation.
Telegraph (12th Dec) are reporting that police are failing to recover CCTV footage in 9/10 burglaries. Our streets are the mostly closely monitored in the world, yet the CCTV footage isn’t being looked at or used.
So why are people so anti CCTV?
Is it that people don’t like the camera tracking them. 90% of the time CCTV is just running and recording in the background, not being monitored unless an incident takes place and a date and time and data is requested, a trained CCTV operator will extract the video evidence and it would be handed to the authorities. Most CCTV systems record data for a month and then it’s deleted and recorded over. 9/10 people aren’t even seen, the movements are.
Perhaps it’s the media giving false impressions of what CCTV can do eg Spooks, James Bond movies with the powers that be watching and accessing images in all shops and streets anywhere they want. The reality is that it can’t be done – it’s the government satellites that can do all that – but people aren’t up in arms about the satellites that can home in and track one persons every movement.
So is it because CCTV is a physical thing that people can attack, it’s regulated to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 – where as internet searches aren’t even vetted.
Or is it the people who have something to hide, just like fighting the system and are ignorant to the other more relevant big brother.
It does sound as though people are mis-informed or don’t understand how CCTV is used – Fear of the unknown.
Perhaps we should be more worried about what information Google is recording on an individual for a lifetime, or even Facebook is accessing profiles taking information on posts, what people look at and like and will be generating advertisements specifically for personal pages – CCTV is short-term.
Did you know, we are more tracked on our internet use or Tesco club card than we are on CCTV. – now that is more like big brother – knowing what our buying habits are.
No matter what your opinion on CCTV systems are, there will always be the fors and against and the debate will continue.
For more information on CCTV Code of Practice please visit http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/topic_guides/cctv