As part of the National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales, Tony Porter QPM LLB – the Surveillance Camera Commissioner – is holding the world’s first Surveillance Camera Day as part of IFSEC International in London on Thursday 20 June.
The purpose of the day is to raise public awareness about the provision and operation of surveillance cameras and to enhance public debate. In doing so, the event will encourage conversations that will help inform policy-makers and service providers regarding acceptable surveillance practices and legitimacy for surveillance camera systems that are delivered in line with society’s needs.
There will be a number of different elements to the day. The Commissioner is encouraging surveillance camera Control Centres to ‘throw their doors open’ so that the public can see, first hand, how they operate. To complement the ‘doors open’ initiative, a number of surveillance camera operators will be publishing a surveillance camera fact sheet setting out the basic facts of their system(s), including what they’re designed to do.
The Commissioner will also be launching a ‘secure by default’ standard for manufacturers at the UBM-organised IFSEC International Conference at London’s ExCeL. Where surveillance manufacturers meet the new standard, it will ensure that the default settings of a product are the most secure settings possible. This means that given cameras are much less likely to be vulnerable to cyber attacks.
More information about the day will be made available over the coming weeks. Anyone who wishes to be involved should contact the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Porter said: “Surveillance Camera Day is a world-first. The UK is sometimes referred to as ‘the most surveilled country on the planet’. I want to start a conversation about how surveillance cameras are used, why they’re used and who’s using them. Cameras are used to keep people safe, but new and emerging technology can lead to greater infringements to our civil liberties. Civil engagement is a key strand of the National Surveillance Camera Strategy and I want people who use cameras to shine a light on what they do and show how they’re using cameras to protect communities, not spy on them.”