Surveillance Camera Commissioner unveils detail of inaugural Surveillance Camera Day

Tony Porter QPM LLB: the Surveillance Camera Commissioner

Tony Porter QPM LLB: the Surveillance Camera Commissioner

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 mick.kelly3@sccommissioner.gov.uk

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.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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