Today sees the launch of the national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales, headed up by Tony Porter, the government’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner.
The three year strategy is a welcome step forward but it also comes with a stark warning from Mr. Porter, the government’s CCTV watchdog, who is concerned that regulators and the government were struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change.
“What most worries me is the impact of big data and integration of video surveillance… I’m worried about overt surveillance becoming much more invasive because it is linked to everything else.”
The new strategy acknowledges that most people currently support the use of CCTV in public places but the Commissioner’s concerns are whether this support can continue because of the way surveillance is changing. As technology advances and converges, the possibilities for its use are expanding at breakneck speed and there are undoubtedly some cases where it’s been invaluable – such as drones helping the police solve crimes and hunt for missing people but, it’s also creating problems with privacy.