A more important goal for the safety of our society - Millions of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are installed on streets and businesses around the world with the stated goal of reducing crime and increasing public safety. CCTV cameras can also create unexpected effects, good and bad. The "halo" effect refers to the potential for enhancing security in areas beyond the view of the cameras. Referring to the security of our locality that also attracts thieves, burglars and other less serious crimes that could easily be fought with the help of CCTV vigilance.
Before starting implementation, there is a set of principles and tools to ensure the respect of citizens' rights with video surveillance systems. These included -
Need: the use of camera systems must be empirically justified. The objectives and the expected results must be defined.
Proportionality: CCTV equipment must be adapted to the problem for which it is intended. The data must be protected and the retention period kept clearly defined.
Transparency: Citizens should know what are the objectives of a video surveillance system, what are the costs of installation and operation, the areas examined and the results.
Responsibility: Officials of public video surveillance systems must be clearly identified and accountable to the public, whether these systems are managed by the government or by private companies.
Independent oversight: an external body should be responsible for ensuring that the systems respect the rights of the public and achieve the goals they set out.
To sum up, public interest and security with surveillance cameras are here to stay. We need to define the definition of a public camera to defend the public interest and respond quickly to the intention. In the end, security does not come with compromises.