Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

CCTV spy cars, privacy and the right to be forgotten

By Mal Fletcher - posted Tuesday, 24 June 2014


'The privacy and dignity of our citizens,' wrote William O. Douglas, 'are being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps.'

'Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when views as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen.'

This is at the heart of what will continue to be a defining area of debate for the next decade; a debate focused on privacy and freedom of speech – and their relationship with ever more ubiquitous digital technologies.

Advertisement

A cornerstone of the debate will be what I, for want of a better term, call 'technology creep' – the gradual introduction of new uses for specific technologies, which have never been approved by the public.

The British Government announced last week that CCTV 'spy cars' will be banned under new moves aimed at enticing motorists back to dying town centres.

Since 2012, roving vans fitted with CCTV cameras have been used by local councils to enforce parking regulations. This was never part of the civic contract when CCTV was first 'sold' to the public.

CCTV was introduced to Britain's streets and shopping centres to help prevent crime – particularly violent crime.

Despite the fact that Britain is now one of the most CCTV-laden countries in the world, with one camera for every 14 people in its urban centres, a 2009 internal police study showed that just one crime is solved for every thousand cameras across London.

Yet spy cars have become a favourite of many local councils because they bring in ten times as much revenue as stationary cameras on their own.

When street cameras were introduced nobody ever mentioned using them to identify parking infringements, much less fitting them to cars.

Advertisement

Not long ago, parents in parts of inner London were shocked to learn that street cameras were being used to record minor breaches of parking laws outside schools.

Parents were being fined for illegal parking, when most were stopping only for a minute or two to pick up their children. This in areas where no alternative, safe parking was provided.

Heavy-handed responses from local authorities are bothersome because of their potential to produce a domino effect.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

This article was first published on 2020Plus.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

5 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Mal Fletcher

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 5 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy