72% of Scots against CCTV eavesdropping

Jan Harris

February 7, 2008

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched its new CCTV code of practice at the Scottish Parliament today, and also released details of a survey of a thousand people in Scotland.

Seventy-two per cent of respondents to the survey were against CCTV cameras which record conversations. This supports an earlier survey in London and South East England which produced similar results (70% against).

Ken Macdonald, assistant commissioner for Scotland at the ICO, commented that although there is public support for CCTV being used to detect crime, there is the potential for the technology to be extremely intrusive. He said that using cameras to record conversations was an unacceptable invasion of privacy.

The survey also found that 56 percent of people in Scotland are aware that the Data Protection Act covers CCTV; 20 per cent more than in London and the South East.

The ICO’s new code of practice is designed to help organisations and businesses operate CCTV systems in a way which complies with the Data Protection Act. This is considered essential in order to uphold the public’s confidence in the use of CCTV.


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