I can't but resist a self satisfied "ejaculation" (can I say that here?) of
I will tell you.
It would seem that, according to the watchdog CameraWatch, the vast majority of Britain's CCTV cameras are operating illegally or are in breach of privacy guidelines.
A large proportion of the UK's 14.2 million cameras breach the Data Protection Act and so are illegal, according to CameraWatch.
CameraWatch's chairman Gordon Ferrie, a former policeman, said recently:
"Our research shows that up to
90 per cent of CCTV installations
fail to comply with the Information Commissioner's
code of practice, and that
many installations are operated illegally.
That has profound implications
for the reputation of the CCTV and camera
surveillance industry and all concerned with it.
There is nothing better than actually seeing
someone commit the crime.
All we are asking is that the images that are
taken are compliant with the Data Protection Act."
Under the code of practice and according to the Data Protection Act, CCTV cameras must be visible with clear signs. In addition, camera operators have an obligation to stop images of individuals being seen by third parties.
Mr Ferrie said that operators most commonly breach these rules by not keeping recorded tapes secure, meaning they could potentially be stolen.
Nanny's Information Commissioner's Office has denied that CCTV rules are being broken on a large scale.
Ken Macdonald, Assistant Information Commissioner for Scotland, said:
"We welcome the initiative by CameraWatch
to promote compliance with the Data Protection Act.
We are not aware of any evidence that
supports the suggestion that 90 per cent
of CCTV cameras are not complying with
the ICO Code of Practice.
We don't believe there is any such evidence.
Where we receive complaints that CCTV
is being used in breach of the Data Protection Act
we will investigate.
We have a range of enforcement powers at our disposal."
Well he would say that, wouldn't he?