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ICO issues new CCTV and surveillance equipment code of practice

17 October 2014

The ICO has issued a new code of practice for CCTV and surveillance equipment. In his blog, Jonathan Bamford, Head of Strategic Liaison at the ICO explained that “the code must reflect the times we live in. The pace of technological change since our CCTV guidance was last updated in 2008, let alone when it was first published some 14 years ago, has been considerable…. The new and emerging technologies section of today’s code covers the key surveillance technologies that we believe will become increasingly popular in the years ahead”.

The Code covers use of surveillance equipment and camera related surveillance equipment including Automatic Number Plate Recognition, body worn video, unmanned aerial systems and other similar systems. It reminds users to have clear procedures to determine how the system is used in practice. As surveillance systems can be privacy intrusive, you will need to carefully consider whether or not to use a system, and carry out a privacy impact assessment in advance. The Code makes it clear that failures to carry out an appropriate privacy impact assessment in advance has contributed to many of the data protection problems that have occurred in relation to the use of surveillance systems.

Useful reading for those with surveillance systems, or plans to implement such systems.

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