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Commissioners issue new data protection template for surveillance cameras



The Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have updated the template for data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) on the use of surveillance cameras.

They said the document has been issued jointly to reflect updated data protection requirements as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as to comply with the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Where organisations are operating surveillance cameras in public places they are required to carry out a DPIA. Organisations introducing new surveillance camera systems or upgrading existing systems can use the template to help ensure they are complying with relevant legislation.

The two bodies recommended that the assessments are made when: cameras are added or removed from systems; cameras are moved or change position; whole or parts of systems are upgraded; new systems are installed; and where systems that include biometrics capabilities such as automatic facial recognition are in use.

Tony Porter, surveillance camera commissioner, said: “Ensuring that surveillance camera systems protect communities rather than spy on them is essential in building public trust around the use of overt surveillance cameras.

“This joint effort between my office and the Information Commissioner’s Office will help ensure that where surveillance cameras are deployed, tools are available to help organisations meet legal requirements around privacy and human rights.”

Image: Otto Normalverbraucher, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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