February 16, 2011
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The Protection of Freedoms Bill promotes efficient CCTV surveillance, but not effective privacy. The hype surrounding the CCTV/ANPR provisions in the Protection of Freedoms Bill is misplaced. In fact, I would argue the bill’s provision for a Statutory Code of Practice in the CCTV area represents little change on the privacy front, but a huge change in the potential for enhanced surveillance.
A statutory code of practice covering CCTV/ANPR is to be produced by the Home Secretary and regulated by a new “Surveillance Camera Commissioner”. The code’s application is limited to policing bodies and local authorities; it does not cover the CCTV systems that are installed by Government Departments, the Security Service, other public bodies, or used in large shops or shopping malls. If the measure was intended to limit CCTV surveillance, then one would expect that some of these missing areas would be covered in its provisions.