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    Record (Canada): Privacy concerns delay cameras on buses

    The Record reports on privacy questions about camera surveillance in buses in the Waterloo region of Canada:

    The cameras, now common in transit systems, are meant to deter crime and enhance security. But the transit service has delayed activating them, after critics complained that regional council never consulted the public and has no surveillance policy, saying who can view recordings and how long images are kept.

    Following guidelines from Ontario’s privacy commissioner, the [Grand River Transit] service will hold consultations and draft policies “in recognition of the concerns that are being brought forward around privacy,” director Eric Gillespie said. […]

    “It’s unfortunate that this hasn’t happened earlier and that we’re just getting to this stage so late in the process,” said transit passenger Kate Daley, of Waterloo. “I think it’s still important to do those consultations.”

    Daley complained to council about its failure to consult and develop clear policies. She’s concerned that people not become complacent about surveillance. […]

    Gillespie said the transit service intends to develop policies in line with provincial guidelines. These include erasing recorded information within 72 hours, if it has not been viewed for law enforcement or public safety reasons.

    “I think it’s critical to have those policies in place before the cameras go live,” said Brian Beamish, an assistant commissioner with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

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