CCTV cameras capable of recording in high definition, could spark a public outcry, it has been warned by the UK’s surveillance commissioner, Andrew Rennison. While many would argue that better quality cameras are more likely to be able to identify criminals, plenty of people still fear the ‘Big Brother’ future pictured in the classic novel, 1984.
Describing the technology as advancing at a pace that was difficult to keep up with, Rennison said that the levels of detail some cameras were capable of achieving would soon allow for people to be picked out of a crowd at over half a mile. Combined with facial recognition software, the worry for privacy only increases. Mr Rennison warned (via The Independent) that: “if we don’t regulate it properly – ie, the technological ability to use millions of images we capture – there will be a huge public backlash.”
There was already a small outcry after the introduction of talking CCTV cameras in certain areas. Residents with shared gardens were often told to leave the area or the police would be called if they visited it late at night – something they are perfectly within their rights to do. There is also a worry with security of the data collected by cameras and facial recognition software. With many big organisations and companies failing to secure details on their customers over the past couple of years, some worry if they could be tracked by hackers or other nefarious individuals.
To help assuage some public fears, Mr Rennison is said to be working on the first official code of conduct for the use of CCTV, as well as having legal advisors consider whether high quality CCTV was actually in breach of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which protects privacy and family life.
KitGuru Says: Perhaps it’s an argument for better quality cameras more than a disparaging of their effectiveness, but a report back in 2009 found that for ever 1,000 cameras, only one crime was solved.
Benjamin Franklin once said “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety,deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Would you agree with that?