If surveillance cameras are to be kept in line, the rules will have to keep pace with technology
It has been said that Britain has more surveillance cameras than any other country in the world. This proliferation of CCTV cameras led the government to establish a surveillance camera commissioner responsible for overseeing their governance – the only country in the world to do so. In another first, the commissioner has now released a national strategy for England and Wales to set out how CCTV should be operated and to ensure that cameras are used in the public interest.
The growing prevalence of cameras and greater understanding of the many ways in which we are surveilled has led many – including the current commissioner, Tony Porter, to voice concern that Britain is “sleepwalking into a surveillance state”. This raises critical questions about whether we can be confident that all these cameras are being used in a way the public would approve of – and if not, whether regulation can force CCTV operators into line.
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