Thursday, August 03, 2006


Opponents of CCTV point out the loss of privacy of the people under surveillance, and the negative impact of surveillance on civil liberties. Furthermore, they argue that CCTV displaces crime, rather than reducing it. Critics often dub CCTV as "Big Brother surveillance", a reference to George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which featured a two-way telescreen in every home through which The Party would monitor the populace. A more realistic depiction of CCTV is in the V for Vendetta series, which anticipated the current situation.

The recent growth of CCTV in housing areas also raises serious issues about the extent to which CCTV is being used as a social control measure rather than simply a deterrent to crime, especially with the relationship to ASBOs.

Quite apart from government-permitted use (or abuse), questions are also raised about illegal access to CCTV footage. In May 2005 four were charged with use of CCTV for the purposes of voyeurism in Merseyside [10]. In December 2005, three of them were convicted. [11]

Previously a CCTV operator in Glamorgan was convicted on obscenity charges after making obscene phone calls to people he had been spying on. Other specific examples include a video Caught in the Act, released in 1996 which featured various couples having sex, captured on CCTV, and broadcast of footage of a man, Geoff Peck, attempting to commit suicide. [12], [13].

The Data Protection Act 1998 in the United Kingdom led to legal restrictions being imposed on the use to which CCTV footage can be put, and also mandated their registration with the Data Protection Agency. The successor to the DPA, the Information Commissioner in 2004 clarified that this required registration of all CCTV systems with the Commissioner, and prompt deletion of archived footage. However subsequent case law (Durant vs. FSA) has limited the scope of the legal protection provided by this law, and not all CCTV systems are currently regulated. [14]

In the United States there is no such data protection mechanisms. It has been questioned whether CCTV evidence is allowable under the Fourth Amendment which prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures". The courts have generally not taken this view.

In Canada the use of video surveillance has grown exponentially. Disturbingly to some, corporations may legally record video even in changerooms. The Talisman Centre in Calgary, Alberta a fitness centre, has numerous video cameras in the men's changeroom that record men changing and showering.

thats what wikipedia also say┬┤s!!!


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