NZ CCTV guidelines
New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner has just released guidelines on the use of closed-circuit television systems (CCTV). Clearly, the Privacy Commish is an astute woman for she says:
“CCTV has an important role to play in detecting and prosecuting crime, and even deterring some types of crime. But this does not need to be at the expense of privacy.”
I’ve read the guidelines and I think they are well-considered and offer small business and organisations practical advice on deciding whether CCTV is actually needed; how to store images; and making sure employees and the general public are aware of CCTV cams and their positioning.
2.2 of the summary is something I’m very pleased to see – “Where appropriate, consult with the community and other key stakeholders on your business plan.” 2.4 is also targetting an aspect of CCTV I’m always concerned with: “Develop a clear policy on how images collected by CCTV will be handled. Make this policy easily accessible (for example, on your website).”
Section 8 of the summary document outlines controlling who can see images and suggests a log of all access to CCTV images should be kept. This is a good step towards addressing another issue I’ve raised before: who the hell can see the images, how they are stored and who has access.
And then 9.2 suggests a very sensible step: after a year of operation, do an audit and evaluate the operation of the system to determine its effectiveness and continuing viability.
Appendix A of the guidelines is a handy checklist for small business and helps to think through clear reasons for operating a CCTV system.
Go here for the summary and the guidelines.