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Feature


We’ve got our beady eyes on you...


A recent investigation by leading property security company, Clearway, has revealed alarming levels of non-compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation


(GDPR) which came into force just over one year ago on 25 May 2018, especially where the use of CCTV is concerned.


The reasons for this worrying discovery were multiple, but appeared mainly to be because the management responsible hadn’t bothered to read all the Regulations in enough detail, don’t think they apply to them, are too lazy to comply with it all or simply don’t understand them. CCTV cameras are now a fact of life


and surround us. Six years ago, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) estimated there were nearly 6m in the country, including 750,000 in “sensitive locations” such as schools, hospitals and care homes, and there are some 15,600 on the London Underground network alone. Other estimates put the national tally far lower at 1.85m but it’s virtually impossible to clarify the figures with any degree of accuracy without checking every single property and street from Scotland to Cornwall as they are literally everywhere. Whichever figure is nearer


the truth, that’s still a lot of cameras, which may persuade some people we live in a ‘surveillance society’, anathema to those who champion our right in the UK to privacy, freedom of speech, expression and movement. Like it or not, however,


CCTV has become part of the modern British landscape and camera images protect businesses,


14 fmuk


homes and public property while providing police forces and security organisations with a vital tool for both deterring and solving crime. Given the increasing paranoia now about terrorism, especially in high profile buildings and travel hubs, and the development of more refined technology, one wonders just how many cameras there are watching us anywhere and everywhere? No doubt this prevalence contributes


to the debate about balancing the use of surveillance with individuals’ right to privacy, but across the UK and EU there are now stringent GDP Regulations which cover of the use of CCTV… but just how good are organisations at complying to them? Since our streets and buildings bristle


with CCTV cameras everywhere, inside and outside, recording details and images of our


comings and goings (it is estimated that the average Briton is captured on CCTV around 70 times per day) most people believe this is a small compromise to privacy necessary for improved protection from crime. However, facilities, building and security managers or property owners really need to check their compliance to Regulations is up to scratch before someone complains and they face a hefty fine. These days, like it or not, the public tend


to accept the fact that wherever they go, inevitably they’re on someone’s camera, somewhere; it’s a fact of life and reassuring in most cases where their personal security is concerned. However, when you think about it when you are out and about yourself, do you really see or notice advisory signs about CCTV, as much as you should? Which is what the Regulations demand. And have you any idea where all these images are stored, or if they’re deleted after a short time, or perhaps shared with other parties? Who really


knows where you are going or what you


are doing? The answer is probably not, according


to Clearway’s expert, UK CCTV Manager, Andrew Crowne-Spencer. As he says “The whole point of CCTV is security, and its deterrent factor in part, as well as recording the criminal activity to assist law enforcement bodies in detecting the


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