Tag Archives: Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Good governance should be “differentiator and business enabler” for security integrators

Businesses are at risk of falling behind if they fail to see the advantages of good governance and the benefits it can bring. That’s according to Evolution, the integrated fire and security systems business.

Brendan McGarrity, head of risk and design at Evolution, argues that ‘box-ticking’ to meet a legal, regulatory or compliance obligation should not be the strategy to adopt and implement.

McGarrity informed Security Matters: “I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of ‘ticking a box’ either because we don’t understand or believe in something, but simply need to get it off our desk. I’m sure, also, that there are some of those with a security remit who do much the same when it comes to governance in relation to risk. There are clear advantages and true benefits to be realised from good governance.”

As an example, McGarrity quoted a Quality Manual. “To some, it’s a manual that, once completed, can sit on a dusty shelf or be lost in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless and until a quality inspection’s due. Then there are others who see it differently. They would view a Quality Manual as a proactive tool for instigating continual improvements to a business and its operations.”

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Readily embracing quality

McGarrity notes certain sectors, such as the pharmaceutical or high-tech electronics industries, embrace quality readily, and realise the benefits such an approach can bring, but others are less willing until an event obliges them to see and think differently.

He also pinpoints the Surveillance Camera Commissioner as an interesting case and highlights the example of a major retailer who sought accreditation with the Commissioner, not because they had to, but because they realised the benefits from doing so.

“The business was not obliged to have Surveillance Camera Commissioner accreditation. It did not need to tick a box. It did so to demonstrate genuine leadership and strategic influence across the sector. The senior stakeholders were engaged and found to be suitably impressed, and their brand and reputation enhanced among stakeholders and customers alike. They also realised the commercial and operational benefits that Surveillance Camera Commissioner compliance could bring. Benefits that far outweighed the costs involved, not least an increase in public confidence in the way the systems were operated and managed.”

Compliance as business enabler

McGarrity added: “Though such compliance wasn’t essential to the business concerned, the organisation saw it as a business enabler and one that affords the company competitive advantage.”

For McGarrity, that’s the key point. “Good governance should be a differentiator,” he concluded. “High-end integrators see it as an opportunity to put distance between themselves and the volume-based installers who are perhaps not as focused on building long-term relationships. That said, good governance only becomes a differentiator if the true benefits are properly understood and realised.”

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Synectics to highlight value of ethical surveillance tools at Global MSC Security Conference 2019

This year’s Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition, which runs at The Bristol Hotel in Bristol on 11-12 November, will see Synectics explain how advanced technologies and evolving features can support those practitioners tasked with ensuring that public surveillance is undertaken legally and ethically.  

Over 150 delegates from the fields of security, law enforcement, Government and academia are due to attend the two-day event, which will focus on the ethical challenges presented by the growing use of CCTV, ANPR, drones, facial recognition and Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the public realm. Risk Xtra is the Official Media Partner.

Speakers include Tony Porter, the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner, who’ll be joined by senior representatives from police forces, Fire and Rescue Services and other organisations focused on public safety, crime prevention and national security.

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‘Building Ethical Capacity into Surveillance Technology’

Synectics’ Martin Bonfield joins the event line-up. His detailed seminar will highlight how public concerns regarding surveillance ‒ especially those around the use of emerging technologies such as facial recognition and AI ‒ are shown to be greatly reduced if robust and demonstrable safeguards are in operation.

Those attending the session will gain a clear understanding of the tools available to help ensure that any public surveillance data can be captured, managed and shared in accordance with existing and evolving demands. 

The session will look specifically at solutions designed to support users in four key areas: the use of facial recognition, regulatory compliance (with, for example, the General Data Protection Regulation), data protection (cyber security) and evidence management.

Under the spotlight

To showcase emerging capabilities, Synectics will be demonstrating how its Synergy 3 Command and Control platform supports a wide range of safeguarding and compliance mechanisms, including comprehensive digital audit trails, automated workflows aligned to standard operating procedures and time-limited data storage.

The role played by highly secure, cloud-based evidence lockers ‒ which support secure, real-time authorised access to data ‒ will also be discussed, specifically in the context of inter-agency data-sharing.

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Martin Bonfield

Bonfield informed Risk Xtra: “Synectics has been at the forefront of global surveillance solutions for over 30 years. We work closely with customers to tackle the complex issue of ethics surrounding CCTV use, data capture and monitoring, as well as the robust management of digital evidence. I’m looking forward to showing delegates examples of the smart technology available to ensure surveillance operations are effective, secure and compliant with legal and ethical frameworks – today, and years from now.”

As a premium sponsor, Synectics (exhibiting on Stand 15) will be showcasing its leading-edge technologies. Live demonstrations will run throughout the event to demonstrate how the tools explored in the seminar can be applied within a range of practical evidence management and incident response scenarios.

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NSI supports World Accreditation Day 2019

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) offered its full support to World Accreditation Day 2019 (#WAD2019). A global initiative celebrating accreditation, the event (which took place on Sunday 9 June) focused on accredited bodies like the NSI adding value in supply chains. 

From a security and fire safety sector perspective, installers and service providers of security and fire safety systems and security guarding solution are a vital ‘link in the chain’ with their expertise at the point of delivery, keeping people safe, ensuring security solutions harness suitable technology and that they’re fit for purpose.

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Whether it be in the design, installation and commissioning of intruder alarms, access control systems, fire detection or suppression systems and CCTV or the monitoring of myriad guarding services, Best Practice in service provision by NSI-approved companies ensures that quality solutions are delivered to customers.

World Accreditation Day marked the work underway to launch ‘IAF CertSearch’, a website designed to provide buyers with the ability to verify management systems certificates such as ISO 9001 (itself a key component of NSI’s Gold approvals). This facility will help to distinguish certificates issued by accredited conformity assessment bodies (CABs), such as the NSI, from certificates issued by non-accredited CABs and to check the authenticity of a certificate.

Richard Jenkins, CEO at the NSI, commented: “World Accreditation Day plays an important role in promoting the value of accreditation and accredited conformity assessment. As an accredited certification body, the NSI conforms to ISO 17021-1 and ISO 17065 in the delivery of Certificates of Approval to over 1,800 approved companies operating in the UK and Eire. The worldwide system of accreditation spans economies accounting for 96% of global GDP*. The NSI is proud to play its small part in this ecosystem underpinning Best Practice, competency and consistent quality within our sector, as recognised by, among others, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Security Industry Authority, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, BAFE and industry and insurer stakeholders.”

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Richard Jenkins

NSI Gold Approval combines Quality Management Systems approval ISO 9001 with specific product standards pertinent to services provided, in addition to NSI Quality Schedules and approval criteria specifically designed for the security and fire systems and guarding services sectors. The NSI adopts a ‘treat recommendations as mandatory’ stance with regard to all standards and Codes of Practice, affording buyers confidence that NSI-approved companies adhere to the latest Best Practice at all times.

For full details of the range of NSI approvals to international and British Standards and industry Codes of Practice visit www.nsi.org.uk

*Source: World Economic Forum

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BSIA looks forward to impending publication of BS 8593 on body-worn video cameras

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is pleased to have played a pivotal role in the development of BS 8593 Code of Practice for the Deployment and Use of Body-Worn Video and is looking forward to its expected publication later this month.

The standard provides technical and operational recommendations for the deployment and use of body-worn video used for the purposes of recording interactions between the wearer and other parties, or the environments in which wearers finds themselves.

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David Wilkinson, director of technical services at the BSIA and chairman of the British Standards Institution’s GW1/10 Sub-Committee, commented: “The need for a standard in this area was born from discussions held with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner with regards to guidance for body-worn video in relation to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice. The standard’s development committee was chaired by myself and involved a wide variety of stakeholders, including manufacturers, inspectorates, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Security Industry Authority and the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s office.”

Wilkinson continued: “There are clear advantages for the use of body-worn video in a number of applications. However, its usage also brings about challenges in terms of privacy and data security. It’s hoped that this standard will support the work of organisations such as the ICO as well as the Surveillance Camera Commissioner in ensuring that surveillance remains appropriate and proportionate and that there’s a balance struck between safety, security and the privacy of those being surveilled.”

BS 8593 will be publicly launched by the BSI on 14 June at UBM’s offices in Blackfriars, London, with briefings from both the Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter QPM LLB and the ICO, representatives of the Metropolitan Police Service, industry practitioners and the BSIA’s David Wilkinson.

*For further information about the launch event, or to register for your free place, please visit: www.bsia.co.uk/events

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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.

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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.

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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

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