Join Dr. Andrew Clement for a reprisal of his Jane’s Walk that sets its sights on CCTV surveillance in downtown Toronto.
Wherever we walk on the streets of our city, we are followed by video eyes – Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras owned by private corporations as well as the Toronto Police. On this Jane's Walk, we will look back.
This walk surveys the various video surveillance cameras (mainly operated by police, retailers and private sector security agencies) and accompanying signage (and lack thereof). We’ll discuss the relation between the ideas of urban safety/livability/crime reduction associated with these ‘video eyes’ and the human eyes that Jane Jacobs refers to in her famous phrase of ‘eyes on the street’.
We’ll also discuss the legal requirements of privacy protection that video surveillance operations should comply with. In particular, while private sector video surveillance is covered by the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), no installation we’ve encountered so far is fully compliant with the notification (signage) requirements of PIPEDA. In such cases we’ll discuss how to file a complaint with the federal Privacy Commissioner and issue an ‘infraction notice’ to the responsible organization. We’ll also discuss the Toronto Police Services installation and use of video surveillance cameras, particularly during the G20 meeting in June 2010.
This walk is based on on-going research at the University of Toronto. See the Canadian Surveillance Camera (aka CCTV) Signage Flickr Group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/1233129@N25/
(Video)Eyes on the Street is part of Cyber-surveillance in Everyday Life: An International Workshop, which is convened by The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting, a multi-university research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.