Cameras in the frame following negative surveillance backlash - PropertyBlawg

Cameras in the frame following negative surveillance backlash

by cluckingweb on July 30, 2013

Despite the explosion in popularity of CCTV cameras in the UK by both public and private bodies, there are still few rules governing the use of these surveillance systems.

This could all change however following a coalition Government report into their use; brought about by a recent surge in complaints regarding spying neighbours.

The government recently introduced a “surveillance code of practice” for its public counterparts, particularly aimed at police and local authorities. But the fall-out is expected to be felt by users of the many security cameras that now look over private properties around the country.

Homeowners using security systems to protect their properties could be subjected to a new set of rules, following the report from the Government’s surveillance camera commissioner Andrew Rennison.

Mr Rennison has shown concern that upset and bad feeling can been caused between neighbours if they feel they are having their privacy impinged by security cameras.

He’s urged private CCTV users to consider their neighbours when setting up their security systems, taking into account where the cameras are pointing so as to not cause upset.

The move comes as Mr Rennison warned of a “possible public backlash” regarding the use and positioning of static and mobile surveillance systems.

“The technology has overtaken our ability to regulate it,” he said.

“I’m convinced that if we don’t regulate it properly, there will be a huge public backlash. It is the Big Brother scenario playing out large.”

The Telegraph recently reported that complaints about privacy relating to CCTV systems are becoming more common – mostly due to the lack of clarity surrounding their use and positioning.

With security systems now cheaper, more accessible and easier to install than ever before, the number of private properties using them for security and surveillance purposes has boomed.

But this huge increase has lead to more people becoming wary of surveillance cameras being used to monitor people’s movements, rather than protecting property – something which is extremely difficult to prove, especially by private users.

A clear-cut set of rules and guidelines would certainly go some way to ease the concerns of those who have grown suspicious of such devices and their uses in recent years.

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