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    Guardian (UK): CCTV use should be transparent, says government

    The Guardian reports on the issue of camera surveillance in the UK:

    Organisations should be more open about their ownership and use of CCTV and ANPR, according to a new draft code of conduct.

    A consultation on the planned code of conduct, published on 1 March by the Home Office, says the code provides the opportunity for increasing transparency around camera use, except for those involved in covert investigation, which are covered by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. […]

    Some local authorities publish the location of CCTV covering public spaces online, and many label their cameras. However, police forces have repeatedly refused to disclose the locations of automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) cameras, a stance that has been backed by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

    The consultation says the code may offer specific guidance on retention periods for ANPR images. Police forces retain the core data of all vehicles for two years, much longer than the one month retention period for many CCTV systems, or the 12 weeks for which Transport for London retains Oyster journey data.

    In general, it says that authorities should consider whether their use of the technology is proportionate, with assessments of the need for camera schemes. This may include whether or not a proposed installation is “part of a developed and integrated strategy,” whether there are alternative means of achieving the desired outcomes, a cost-benefit analysis and consultation with partners and the public. […]

    The consultation closes on 25 May.

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