Doktor Jons Guide to the "Use and Application of CCTV"
- The future for CCTV and privacy -
Its interesting to note that despite the obvious explosion in the use of CCTV in recent years, the degree of control or regulation which has resulted amounts to ...... pretty much nothing!
Apart from the Data Protection Act 1998 (which has already been discussed elsewhere on this site), and the Human Rights Act (which has yet to be tested in this context) there is actually no registration or regulation of any CCTV systems in the UK.
For many years now, Doktor Jon has argued in favour of the government of the day, introducing appropriate legislation towards the adoption of a statutory regulatory authority for the CCTV industry.
The idea that any organisation, authority, company or individual can set up surveillance cameras, no matter how well intentioned, without at the very least being tied to an appropriate code of practice, is to be honest an absolute joke in this day and age.
There are a number of voluntary codes of conduct which have been drawn up to provide individual organisations with the opportunity of managing their systems in a professional way.
The undoubted demands which will increasingly be made towards the application of CCTV in a counter terrorist role, absolutely scream for the need to set up a 'Public Surveillance Inspectorate'.
The adoption of CCTV in public places, whether private systems or elaborate local or central government funded Town Centre schemes, must be able to fulfil a number of specific criteria.
A more scientific approach towards identifying the basis and objectives for the system (System Profiling) coupled with the need for constant ongoing assesment and improvement, are all aspects of operation which are woefully inadequate in the general marketplace.
Whilst a voluntary 'Code of Practice' may be a sensible and appropriate first step, the fact that it is neither independently scrutinised nor reviewed by statute, means that there is no practical accountability in terms of maintaining and improving the systems operation, in line with best practice.
This situation needs to be addressed.
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