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Recently, Andrew Clement, a professor in the Faculty of Information, became curious about these questions. He knew that, under federal privacy guidelines, organizations that operate video cameras in public places are required to post signs indicating who runs the camera and the purpose of the surveillance, as well as contact information for members of the public. But very few of the cameras he noticed were accompanied by such signs. So he decided to investigate.
With a colleague and three graduate students, Clement collected information about 140 video camera installations in the Toronto area operated mostly by well-known retailers, restaurants and banks. Only 30 per cent of the surveillance operations had any signage, and not one fully complied with Ottawa’s privacy guidelines. (Clement has offered a $100 reward for anyone who finds a camera with the appropriate signage.)
What’s more, when researchers requested images of themselves that had been caught on camera, only a small minority of organizations responded within the 30 days required by the federal guidelines. Many didn’t respond at all – or were dismissive of the request. “I felt this called for action,” says Clement.
He soon discovered, however, that the Privacy Commissioner doesn’t have the power to issue fines. She can order a company to put up a sign or reduce the amount of time images are saved, but even these measures are open to court challenges. “The guidelines lack teeth,” says Clement. “Companies ignore them because there really are no consequences.”
Heh. Remember when everyone was complaining about state-run surveillance for he Beijing Olympics? Here in North America we do it proper like. We outsource our state surveillance apparatus! It's cheaper, and it doesn't have to follow any pesky "laws" or "regulations."
Previously on babble: [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/one-nation-under... Nation Under CCTV[/url]
Thanks, CF - I couldn't find that thread. Want to close this one?