A new code of conduct has been introduced by the UK Home Office for the usage of CCTV. This will encourage entities to have transparency in their work and will also ensure that the UK embraces ‘surveillance by consent’. It has been stated by the UK government that a code has been specifically developed.
The new code will address concerns over the potential for abuse or misuse of surveillance by the state in public places. The code is a 12-point guide which aims to ensure public bodies – like local authorities and the police – will consider if they are proportionate before installing new cameras. The guidelines have also specified that usage of CCTV must be in pursuit of a legitimate aim and is essential to meet a pressing need.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Minister of Criminal Information said, “CCTV and ANPR were vital tools” and that the new code “will better harness these technologies and help put an end to CCTV systems growing without proper oversight.” Nick Pickles, director of the privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, in an official statement said that the changes are a step in the right direction towards bringing proper oversight to the millions of cameras which capture the movements every day, but criticized the code for not introducing penalties and only covering a small fraction of cameras.
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