The provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which establish a new Surveillance Camera Commissioner charged with issuing a new code of practice were brought into force on 1 July 2012. The code will relate to any form of closed circuit cameras or automatic number plate recognition used by local authorities, councils and the police. Although relevant authorities "must have regard" to the code, a breach does not give rise to criminal or civil liability. Rather, the only stated consequence for breaching the code is for any court to take a breach "into account" in determining any question in civil or criminal proceedings. The new Commissioner is responsible for "encouraging compliance" with the code, without reference to any underpinning regulatory scheme to ensure compliance. Meanwhile, the Information Commissioner's Office already has in place comprehensive guidance concerning the issues which all organisations operating CCTV should consider with respect to the Data Protection Act 1998. The Home Office consultation concerning the content of the new code was undertaken in 2011 and therefore, those responsible for these new arrangements now face the daunting task of devising a clear and cohesive scheme which improves practice and increases public confidence in the operation of surveillance cameras. Given the limited remit and force of the code and lack of clarity in relation to the role of the new commissioner, in particular with respect to the role of the existing Information Commissioner and Surveillance Commissioner, this is likely to be a challenge.
Register Now As you are not an existing subscriber please register for your free daily legal newsfeed service.Register
If you have any questions about the service please contact email@example.com or call Lexology Customer Services on +44 20 7234 0606.
The new Surveillance Camera Commissioner and his code: creating clarity or causing confusion?
If you are interested in submitting an article to Lexology, please contact Andrew Teague at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I make an effort to read at least several articles each day and regularly share the particularly relevant or interesting articles with my colleagues. I greatly appreciate the inclusion of the Lexology service by the State Bar of...
“I make an effort to read at least several articles each day and regularly share the particularly relevant or interesting articles with my colleagues. I greatly appreciate the inclusion of the Lexology service by the State Bar of Texas and have recommended that my friends and colleagues join the Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar in order to obtain this service for themselves.”
Edward J. Willey III
Huawei Technologies (USA)