New guidelines aim for consistency in camera surveillance
27 August 2013
New guidelines aim for consistency in camera surveillance use in public places
Auckland Council today adopted new draft guidelines for the use of camera surveillance in public places.
The guidelines provide a consistent approach to the appropriate use of camera systems in public places, to help ensure public safety and reduce crime, which are goals of the Auckland Plan.
The guidelines comply with the Privacy Act and are based on eight principles to ensure they meet high standards of planning and operation, so that people don’t feel that “big brother” is watching.
“There are a lot of differing standards of technology and use of camera surveillance. These provide a single set of guidelines to promote consistency and standards to improve public safety and respect people’s privacy rights,” says Anaru Vercoe, Manager of Community Policy and Planning.
The guidelines are voluntary, but the council encourages anyone who uses, or is interested in using, camera surveillance systems to use them.
“Auckland Council is providing leadership by creating a standard all camera system owners and operators can easily adopt. It will help them to decide the best way to choose and manage the use of camera systems as one of a number of safety tools available,” says Vercoe.
Based on up-to-date research and international best practice, the guidelines have been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including local boards, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, police, the security industry, the business sector, community groups and council controlled organisations, such as Auckland Transport.
The guidelines only apply to systems used in public spaces and not to homes or other entirely private spaces.
The next stage for use of the guidelines is to implement and test them. They will later be refined based on the testing. The guidelines will be implemented by council, Auckland Transport and other council-controlled organisations, in partnership with police across Auckland. This partnership is set out in a Memorandum of Understanding that will be signed in the coming weeks.
The eight principles of the guidelines say that camera surveillance:
• will be used only for a specified
purpose that is justified and appropriate
• is chosen and managed in partnership with others who are affected
• is used as part of an integrated safety or crime prevention strategy
• complies with the Privacy Act 1993
• complies with any relevant standards and legislation
• costs of ownership and operation are understood and affordable
• choice and operation is planned ahead of purchase
• use and effectiveness is evaluated, improved and reported.
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