Tag Archives: CCTV Code of Practice

ICO Blog: ‘An updated CCTV Code of Practice fit for 2014 and beyond’

Jonathan Bamford – head of strategic liaison at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – discusses the ICO’s updated CCTV Code of Practice and outlines why a revised Code is required to meet the demands of modern society.

It’s nearly five months since I last wrote about the importance of having a CCTV Code fit for the demands of modern society. At that time the draft version of the Code was out for consultation. Now, all of your comments have been considered and our updated CCTV guidance is available on the ICO’s website.

The updated CCTV Code is one that’s truly fit for the times in which we live. The days of CCTV being limited to a video camera on a pole are long gone. Our new Code reflects the latest advances in surveillance technologies and their implementation, while also explaining the key data protection issues that those operating the equipment need to understand.

So what’s changed? Well, in some respects it’s a case of ‘keep calm and carry on’. The fundamental principles that need to be followed remain the same. People must be informed about the information being collected about them with relevant use of privacy notices and signage where required. The information also needs to be kept secure so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, and effective retention and disposal schedules must be in place to make sure information is only kept for as long as necessary before it’s securely destroyed.

The ICO has updated its CCTV Code of Practice

The ICO has updated its CCTV Code of Practice

However, the Code must reflect the times. 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. These advances bring with them new opportunities and challenges for making sure the technology continues to be used in compliance with the Data Protection Act.

One common theme from the enforcement action we’ve taken in relation to the use of surveillance cameras is that there needs to be a thorough privacy impact assessment. This needs to be conducted before deploying these increasingly powerful and potentially intrusive technologies. The Code will help operators to stay on the right side of the law and save them from wasting money and resources on non-compliant systems.

New and emerging surveillance technologies

The new and emerging technologies section of the updated Code covers the key surveillance technologies that we believe will become increasingly popular in the years ahead.

A number of organisations are starting to use body-worn video. These small, inconspicuous devices can record both sound and images. This can mean that they are capable of being much more intrusive than traditional town centre CCTV. On that basis, their use needs to be well justified with safeguards put in place such as to ensure they are not used when they’re not needed. There must be strong security in case the devices fall into the wrong hands. The Code details specific guidance to help deal with the challenges of using these new devices.

The guidance also considers technologies that are not currently commonplace, but which may prove increasingly popular in future. Just last month, the Civil Aviation Authority released figures showing that over 300 companies have now been given permission to operate UAS (Unmanned Aerial Surveillance) in the UK. This figure has risen by a third within the last 12 months alone. Many of these devices can now be bought for a few hundred pounds and can record imagery. There’s important guidance on how they can be used by organisations to record personal information.

Recreational users are also encouraged to operate UAS responsibly. For example, recording should be restricted and only carried out in controlled areas where people are informed that monitoring may be taking place. It’s important that organisations understand these obligations at an early stage if they’re to remain on the right side of the law.

Jonathan Bamford: head of strategic liaison at the ICO

Jonathan Bamford: head of strategic liaison at the ICO

The updated CCTV Code also addresses long-standing issues where the consultation responses have shown that further clarification of the law is required. One such issue is the need for operators to comply with subject access requests. These requests are an important right enshrined in the Data Protection Act and allow individuals to request a record of any personal information that an organisation holds about them. This includes CCTV footage capturing their image.

However, these requests have been causing a great deal of confusion, particularly for smaller operators unaware of this area of the law. The new CCTV guide includes an expanded section explaining how these requests should be handled, when the information should be given out and details of the statutory deadline of 40 days by which time operators have to provide a full response.

Complementing the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice

We’ve designed our guidance to complement the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice published under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The Surveillance Camera Code’s ‘Guiding Principles’ apply to police forces, Police and Crime Commissioners and local authorities in England and Wales as described in the Act, and contain advice about recommended operational and technical standards that others may find useful.

The technology may change but the principles of the Data Protection Act remain the same. CCTV and other surveillance systems need to be proportionate, justifiable and secure in order to be compliant.

The updated ICO Code will help to make sure that this situation continues for the years ahead.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

ICO warns CCTV operators that use of surveillance cameras must be “necessary and proportionate”

The Information Commissioner’s Office has warned CCTV operators that surveillance cameras must only be used as a necessary and proportionate response to a real and pressing problem.

The warning comes on the same day that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published its updated CCTV Code of Practice. The update includes a look at the data protection requirements placed on the operators of new and emerging surveillance technologies, including drones and body-worn video cameras.

“The UK is one of the leading users of CCTV and other surveillance technologies in the world,” said Jonathan Bamford, the ICO’s head of strategic liaison. “The technology on the market today is able to pick out even more people to be recorded in ever greater detail. In some cases, that detail can then be compared with other databases, for instance when Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is used. This realises new opportunities for tackling problems such as crime, but also poses potential threats to privacy if cameras are just being used to record innocent members of the public without good reason.”

The ICO has moved to warn CCTV operators that the use of surveillance cameras must be "necessary and proportionate"

The ICO has moved to warn CCTV operators that the use of surveillance cameras must be “necessary and proportionate”

Bamford added: “Surveillance cameras should not be deployed as a quick fix, but rather as a proportionate response to a real and pressing problem. Installing surveillance cameras or technology like ANPR and body-worn video is often seen as the first option, but before deploying such systems we need to understand the problem and whether that’s an effective and proportionate solution. Failure to conduct proper privacy impact assessments in advance has been a common theme in our enforcement cases.”

Updated Code of Practice: the detail

The updated Code of Practice explains how CCTV and other forms of camera surveillance can be used to process people’s information. The guidance details the issues that operators should consider before installing such surveillance technology, the measures that companies should have in place to make sure an excessive amount of personal information isn’t being collected and the steps organisations should take in order to make sure captured information is kept secure and destroyed once it’s no longer required.

The ICO’s CCTV Code of Practice complements the provisions in the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice issued last year by the UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner, which applies to police forces, local authorities and Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales (as described in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). The ICO’s guidance covers a wider area, as the requirements of the Data Protection Act apply to all sectors processing personal information across the whole of the UK (including the private sector). The Data Protection Act 1998 does not apply to individuals operating CCTV for their own domestic use.

Recent enforcement action taken by the ICO to stop the excessive use of CCTV includes an enforcement notice served on Southampton City Council after the latter required the video and audio recording of the city’s taxi passengers 24 hours a day.

The ICO also served an enforcement notice on Hertfordshire Constabulary after the force began using ANPR cameras to record every car entering and leaving the small rural town of Royston in Hertfordshire.

In both cases, the “excessive use” of surveillance cameras was reduced following the ICO’s action.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

BSIA calls for increased engagement in CCTV standards development

Rapid developments in the areas of CCTV standards and regulation have prompted the British Security Industry Association to call for increased engagement by industry practitioners in BSIA Working Groups and Standards Committees.

In a letter addressed to business leaders in the CCTV sector, the BSIA’s technical director Alex Carmichael outlines a number of forthcoming changes set to affect the CCTV landscape. These include the introduction of three British Standards, eight international standards and three BSIA Codes of Practice (which themselves often go on to form the basis of new standards).

In addition, the impact of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the appointment of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter and the subsequent publication of the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice in 2013 continue to be felt by the industry, with the standards and guidance issued by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s office expected to be adopted as part of an increasing number of specifications and tenders in the coming year.

Nominating a CCTV expert

“One of the easiest ways for companies to influence this developing surveillance landscape is to nominate an expert to a BSIA Working Group or BSIA Committee,” explained Carmichael, who chairs the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Standards Working Group. “Ultimately, many of these representatives speak for our industry on British and International Standards Committees, in turn ensuring that Association members’ interests are fully incorporated within the resulting standards.”

The BSIA is calling for increased engagement in CCTV standards development

The BSIA is calling for increased engagement in CCTV standards development

Earlier this year, the BSIA published a short guide to becoming a Working Group expert in order to help businesses understand the benefits of being involved with standards development work. The guide outlines the type and frequency of contributions required as well as the opportunities for personal and professional development.

Mark Wherrett of the Synectics Systems Group chairs the BSIA’s CCTV Technical Committee. “Having knowledge of what elements standards are likely to cover allows me to advise my company of areas where products or practices may be non-compliant,” he explained. “This permits us to take the necessary corrective actions in advance of the publication of those standards. I also have the opportunity to use my expertise and experience to shape standards for the UK. This process is extremely useful for my own professional development.”

Representing the interests of BSIA members

Future changes to the CCTV landscape include the formulation of a CCTV Framework for the UK by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner as well as the imminent introduction of international standards (including the series of BS EN 62676 standards).

“The BSIA wields significant influence over these future developments,” stated Alex Carmichael. “As such, it’s more important than ever that the Association fully represents the interests of its members, and equally important for our members to play their own active role in the BSIA’s activities.”

One of the easiest ways in which companies might influence the rapidly developing CCTV landscape is to nominate an expert to a BSIA Working Group or BSIA Committee

One of the easiest ways in which companies might influence the rapidly developing CCTV landscape is to nominate an expert to a BSIA Working Group or BSIA Committee

*Membership of BSIA Working Groups and BSIA Committees is open to representatives of Association member companies only. To find out more about becoming a member of the BSIA visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/join-the-bsia

**Existing BSIA members interested in taking a more active role in CCTV standards development can find out more by contacting the Association’s technical manager David Wilkinson via e-mail at: d.wilkinson@bsia.co.uk

***A copy of the guide entitled ‘Becoming a Working Group Expert’ – which sets out the requirements for potential nominees – may be downloaded from the BSIA’s website at: http://www.bsia.co.uk/app/images/publications/187-becoming-working-group-expert.pdf

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

BSIA CEO James Kelly promotes security sector’s agenda during political party conference season

With party political conference season now upon us, the British Security Industry Association has been busy championing the views of the private security industry, planning and attending meetings with MPs, Ministers, Peers, Police and Crime Commissioners and representatives of Think Tanks at the Labour Party Conference (currently underway in Manchester) and for the Conservative Party Conference beginning next week.

At the forefront of the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) agenda is the ongoing issue of business licensing and regulation, with discussions also set to focus on garnering support for grant funding that will allow businesses to export to growing markets around the world.

Also on the agenda is the BSIA’s latest research into the number and scope of CCTV cameras in the UK and how the Association’s findings relate to the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice.

With such a wide array of meetings planned, the BSIA’s CEO James Kelly will be championing the views of the Association’s members while simultaneously raising awareness among Parliamentarians of the industry and the challenges it currently faces.

In reference to regulation, Kelly commented: “The Government has failed to identify a legislative vehicle by which to enact these changes, in turn placing the original implementation target of 2015 in real jeopardy. As part of the Security Regulation Alliance, the BSIA has been at the heart of these negotiations and still hopes that the industry can achieve clarity on a future regulatory regime within the current Parliament.”

The BSIA will be driving the security industry's key messaging during the party political conference season

The BSIA will be driving the security industry’s key messaging during the party political conference season

Support for the BSIA’s cause has been pledged by members across all parties as well as a significant number of Police and Crime Commissioners, many of whom use private security companies to provide back office support to their police forces, in turn allowing officers to spend more time on front line duties and less time focused on paperwork.

Increased contact with Parliamentarians

This year’s conference season sees the BSIA almost double its contact with Parliamentarians when compared to previous years, with many MPs set to receive their first ever briefing on the work of the BSIA and the industry.

Among those set to meet with James Kelly are Baroness Smith of Basildon, Jack Dromey (Shadow Home Affairs Minister for Private Security), Owen Paterson (Shadow Minister for Policing and previously Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and David T.C. Davies, Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.

In addition to meetings with politicians, many discussions have been arranged with Police and Crime Commissioners from across the country. Reflecting on this point, Kelly added: “The standards set and maintained by industry regulation and licensing are key to the ability of police forces across the UK to place their trust in private security suppliers. It’s essential that the future regulatory regime continues to provide this element of reassurance.”

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA

This message will be enforced when meeting with PCCs to ensure that the partnerships between BSIA member companies and various police forces are actively promoted for the benefits they undoubtedly realise.

In conclusion, James Kelly explained: “With the 2015 General Election just around the corner, it’s important that the BSIA continues to engage with all parties to ensure that our industry is fully represented in the crucial policy development period running up to the vote. The BSIA is extremely proud of its role as the voice of the UK’s private security industry, and we’re looking forward to building upon our success at conference by actively representing our members’ needs.”

To find out more about the BSIA’s political work and lobbying visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk or follow the Public Affairs Team on twitter via: @bsiapolitics

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

BSIA Chairman Pauline Norstrom outlines aims for the security sector

Newly-elected British Security Industry Association chairman Pauline Norstrom has marked her appointment with a focus on raising stakeholders’ awareness of the value of quality and innovation over price.

In an inaugural address to British Security Industry Association (BSIA) members and industry stakeholders (delivered at the Association’s Annual Luncheon in July, which was sponsored by Eaton’s security business), Norstrom outlined goals for her two-year tenure as chairman, citing economic recovery and international demand for UK products and services as key drivers of industry growth.

Speaking at London’s Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, Norstrom said: “Moving forward, my vision is to cultivate an increased understanding of – and engagement with – our industry’s customers. It’s crucial to our members’ future success that we invite end users to input into influencing the issues that affect them. This will ensure that the products and services offered by our industry meet their needs and deliver a return on investment.”

Pauline Norstrom delivers the Chairman's Address at the 2014 BSIA Annual Luncheon

Pauline Norstrom delivers the Chairman’s Address at the 2014 BSIA Annual Luncheon

Norstrom continued: “Increased engagement with end users will help members to drive demand by navigating the specification and tender process to their advantage, demonstrating the value of quality to ensure that BSIA membership becomes a key requirement in the competitive process and further enables members to compete with and win against competitors who do not care about quality and instead undercut on price at any cost.”

Other aims outlined include presiding over the development and introduction of a dedicated section of membership for industry stakeholders before the end of 2014.

Paying tribute to outgoing BSIA chairman Geoff Zeidler, who was seated at the top table, Norstrom described the “significant progress that the Association has made towards creating a better industry environment for its members through the influence of legislation, regulation and the development of standards” and added: “Throughout his two years as chairman, my predecessor Geoff Zeidler has worked tirelessly to ensure that the BSIA is best placed to achieve its goals.”

Requirement for political engagement

With less than a year until the next General Election, political engagement for the BSIA is also on Norstrom’s mind. Forging new relationships with key political figures including MPs, Peers, Police and Crime Commissioners, local Government officials and Think Tanks remains a priority for the Association’s busy public affairs programme over the coming months.

Left to Right: Baroness Smith of Basildon, Pauline Norstrom and James Kelly

Left to Right: Baroness Smith of Basildon, Pauline Norstrom and James Kelly

An issue close to Pauline’s own heart and reflective of her well-respected position as a key influencer in the CCTV sector is ensuring that the BSIA continues to influence further development of the Government’s CCTV Code of Practice.

The launch in 2013 of the BSIA’s own research into the number and scope of CCTV cameras in the UK succeeded in positioning the Association as the key authority on the subject, while emphasising the important role that privately-owned systems play in supporting the police service and the criminal justice system in securing high profile prosecutions.

In the coming year, Norstrom predicts the Code of Practice will reach even further, supported by the BSIA’s own Code of Practice (Form 109) with which members must comply.

As Chief Operating Officer of Dedicated Micros and the wider AD Group (comprising 18-plus companies), Norstrom has 15 years’ experience in the industry and possesses extensive knowledge of legislation and technical innovation. In her role as chairman of the BSIA, Norstrom chairs the Association’s Council and the Operating Board.

Norstrom is a long-serving member of the BSIA’s CCTV Section and works closely with the Association’s CEO James Kelly to form strategic objectives for the BSIA.

Norstrom will now serve as BSIA chairman for a two-year period, and will be supported in the first year by Geoff Zeidler as immediate past-chairman.

*Read the full speech on page 19 of the August edition of Risk UK

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

BSIA launches online guide to simplify CCTV standards landscape

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has produced a simple ‘standards map’ to provide a useful overview of the CCTV standards landscape.

From British Standards to IEC, and Cenelec to the Government’s new CCTV Code of Practice, the world of CCTV standards can be a complex one to navigate.

For CCTV companies, understanding how this ever-changing standards landscape affects their business can be a daunting task.

With this in mind, the British Security Industry Association has produced a simple ‘standards map’ to provide a useful overview of the standards landscape, as well as basic details of the various bodies that are involved in development of the British, European and International standards that impact the whole of the UK’s CCTV sector.

The BSIA has produced a simple ‘standards map’ to provide a useful overview of the CCTV standards landscape

The BSIA has produced a simple ‘standards map’ to provide a useful overview of the CCTV standards landscape

Available online as an interactive PDF incorporating expandable subject headings, the standards map also provides CCTV companies with a snapshot of how they themselves can influence the development of future standards by becoming involved in the various standards committees operating on UK, European and international levels.

Involvement in standards development

David Wilkinson, technical manager at the BSIA, commented: “Knowing what standards are in the pipeline and how they will impact on their business is a key reason why many BSIA members choose to become involved in standards development through the BSIA and its position on various standards Working Groups.”

David Wilkinson: technical manager at the BSIA

David Wilkinson: technical manager at the BSIA

Wilkinson continued: “In fact, in a recent survey of BSIA members the opportunity to become involved in developing standards was cited among the top three benefits of membership, with 100% of respondents from the BSIA’s CCTV Section expressing high levels of satisfaction with the BSIA’s work in this arena.”

Simon Adcock, chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV section, added: “This map gives non-BSIA members an idea of the complex world of standards development that affects their business, and also illustrates the key role played by the BSIA in co-ordinating the industry’s response to new standards and Codes of Practice.”

Simon Adcock: chairman of the BSIA's CCTV Section

Simon Adcock: chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV Section

Detailed version for BSIA members

A more complex version of the standards map is also available exclusively to BSIA members. This version contains more detail about the current status of standards in progress, including in-depth information regarding comment reviews and the results of BSIA member consultations.

Updated every quarter, this document ensures that members are kept fully informed about the work conducted on the industry’s behalf.

A copy of the simplified standards roadmap can be downloaded from the BSIA’s website http://www.bsia.co.uk/cctv/cctv-standards

BSIA members can access the full version via the Members’ Area of the site: http://www.bsia.co.uk/bsia-members-area

To find out more about the BSIA and its work in standards development visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News