back to article ICO tells cops to behave on CCTV

The Information Commissioner's Office is poised to tell the Home Office to rein in police demands that pubs and clubs install CCTV cameras as a pre-condition of their licences. The issue came up back in February when it emerged that the Metropolitan Police were pressuring a pub in Islington to install cameras in order to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    dear home office,

    ... we do not trust the government to store and keep our data in a safe and secure way so we doubly do not trust individual businesses to do it either.

  2. Dazed and Confused
    Black Helicopters

    Maybe the MPs will understand now

    Following the "scandal" about MPs expenses they will understand why people are worried about the head long rush to being a surveillance society. If the data exists, it WILL leak. Now that the nations pocket stuffers in chief have been on the sharp end of a good leak it might get through their thick skins that all this isn't a good idea. Then again, pigs might fly.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ICO wags finger - Police show the finger - status quo is maintained - do what the filth say or you're stuffed, knowing the law wont protect you from having cp suddenly appear on your home pc, the filth "hint" to your neigbhours that you may be a sex offender and you having an accidental trip down the stairs when the cctv happens to be broken. If you're lucky maybe someone will wag a finger at the policeman that stuffed you but your neighbours will probably hurl bricks for your window anyway.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will this policy include...

    ... cameras on the entrances to the HoC bars so we know which of our highly esteemed MPs are drowning their sorrows at our expense.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What would stop them?

    The next stage of this is the rozzers will refuse permits to pubs that do not have CCTV without stating the reason as lack of CCTV.

    I've seen this myself in other walks of life. In my view the police should have nothing to do with the approval of permits for pubs at all.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy..

    ... while thye are in public, should i close my eyes as i go into a pub as well in case i offend your precious privacy!

  7. Tom Chiverton

    CCTV ?

    So, when is ICO going to wake up to the ANPR nonsence then ?

  8. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    And if the cops ignore what the ICO says...?

    "Oh, well then we will wag our finger sternly at them as they laugh and carry on doing what the hell they like."

    And this will carry on until the Government gives the ICO some real teeth (which they're unlikely to do since HMG are probably the first who will get bitten in the arse!)

  9. Chika

    2009 is the new 1984

    It's just another attempt to delegate responsibility to technology to cut costs. It inevitable leads to a decline in standards. After all, cameras break down, recording equipment can fail but the home orifice doesn't care because they don't have to pay these things, nor do they have to consider the working rights of such things either. This is more serious than the inevitable comparison with "1984", even though the outcome looks very similar.

    Big Brother isn't watching. The Home Orifice didn't want to pay for him (after all, that would mean cutting back on the filching of public funds by MPs, wouldn't it?)

  10. David

    @AC 12:33pm

    I hope the irony of you stating that we have no expectation of privacy in public and then posting anonymously on a public website is not lost on you. What do you have to hide I wonder?

  11. Christoph

    Does anyone know

    Where can I find a good source of masks of the faces of these politicians, to be worn while passing through the club door?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy

    > ... while thye are in public,

    > should i close my eyes as i go into a pub as well in case i offend your precious privacy!

    You don't know me. To you I'm just a random guy drinking in the pub. I don't care that you see me.

    Maybe to someone else I'm the police informant who sent them to jail. Or I'm cheating on my wife. Or I'm attending a fetish party and don't want my friends and co-workers to know. Or I'm trying to get away from a stalking ex-girlfriend. Or I'm arranging a surprise party for someone. I care if _they_ see me. But the chances of us crossing paths are quite small. Ubiquitous ID checks (or CCTV with face recognition) changes that - assuming they can get access to the database.

    Most organisations are utterly incompetent about security, because they have no reason to care about it. What's the consequences of a security lapse, for the organisation holding the data? A stern telling-off, at worst. So if the data exists it WILL be easy for criminals to get at. (MPs know this, that's why their children aren't on the ContactPoint database).

  13. Stephen Gray
    Thumb Down

    @why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy

    Are you able to upload images from your mind? Are you perhaps Johnny Mnemonic? That's the reason for "moaning" about yet another invasion of privacy.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:"why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy..

    "By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 27th May 2009 12:33 GMT

    " ... while thye are in public, should i close my eyes as i go into a pub as well in case i offend your precious privacy!"

    You know what, you're right. Privacy doesn't mean jack sh*t.

    /me rings my bank, then my GP's surgery.

    Well they were both very helpful. I explained that someone on line, who couldn't possibly be a troll, seems to be willing to throw away their privacy, so I should too.

    The bank are now going to be sending my statements to me on postcards, and the GP has agreed that my medical records will be printed on posters and hung on the outside walls of the surgery, to save space in their filing cabinets.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More widespread than the article suggests

    The article mentions a club in south London (borough of Southwark) that was forced to scan the ID of every customer on behalf of the police, as if it was a relatively isolated occurrence. In fact, looking at the Southwark Council website, it's extemely common there (and might even be compulsory for all new and renewed licences). It's evident that these conditions (including the one about capturing high-res CCTV of all faces) are being imposed all the time, with barely a mention in the press (even on the esteemed Reg).

    You can even see how the licensing conditions have evolved over time, becoming more and more sinister, all possible loopholes being closed by which landlords/owners might try to defend any semblance of their customers' privacy. From a recent one (for a club called Hypnotic chosen at random):

    "842 - An identification Recognition System (ClubScan or similar) as approved by the Metropolitan Police shall be installed and maintained in working order at all times. Every person, including staff and agents, entering the premises during opening hours shall be required to submit their details to the system.

    844 - A CCTV camera shall be installed in such a position as approved by the Metropolitan Police to enable a clear facial image of every person [entering the premises during opening hours, including staff] to be recorded and shall be maintained in working order at all times.

    845 - All CCTV recordings shall be retained and made available to the Metropolitan Police and London Borough of Southwark on request."

    Police pre-approval is now required, presumably just in case the CCTV camera isn't quite close-up or high-res enough (for facial recognition software?), or the ID system doesn't store quite enough personal details. And there's apparently no longer a limit on how long CCTV must be retained.

  16. Trevor

    @why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy

    Have you heard of "Freedom of Association?" In short, it's the right to hang around with whomever you want, for whatever reason you want, without someone suspecting you of a crime due merely to the fact that you are gathering in a group, or who you may be associating with.

    There are lots of examples where monitoring who associates with whom, and where can lead to revealing sensitive information that can damage the lives of law abiding citizens.

    Let's say that several employees from a company are seen meeting with a representative of a Union. It could then be assumed they were trying to unionise their workplace, or perhaps it could be assumed they were seeking to leave their workplace, and take up elsewhere. A dozen other assumptions can also be made. This is only one small example, but many more exist.

    If everyone can see who you hang out with, when and where, then the only activities that become allowed are those that benefit those in power. If you step over the line, just a little, word will spread, and you will lose.

    Constant monitoring by the police is a short step to constant monitoring by employers, parents, spouses, etc. Any information made available to the cops can be made available anywhere else for a fee.

    When I gather in public, sometimes I am gathering in a place, and at a time specifically to avoid other entanglements. Sometimes no one owns property large enough to hold an assembly of all those I would spend my time with, and yet we do still expect privacy and a freedom to assemble anonymously, should we choose. If every bar, strip club and fetish shop must monitor everyone, how long then until every hotel must as well? How long before you can not rent time at a convention centre or a conference room without your details being recorded?

    In that society, where do you go then if you want to unionise? Or what if you want that secret tryst with the secretary, or want to arrange to see that rare collectible sports card or anniversary gift without your spouse or parents knowing? How about living a fantasy? Changing your name for a weekend, paying in cash at a hotel, and pretending to be someone you're not, just to see how the other side lives? Many fantasies, or business issues, personal issues and so forth simply can't occur without a reasonable expectation of privacy and a certain level of anonymity.

    Maybe you enjoy following all the rules set at all levels of your life, but not everyone is so content with their existence. If everyone's movements are known all the time, then any opportunity they have to better their situation other than doing exactly what they are told and waiting for a pat on the head is taken from them.

    I am afraid of your world, sir.

  17. Steve Swann

    @why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy

    Ok, no problem...

    ...So when some I tell my anonymous agencies to send around a little man in a white coat to follow you around, recording all your movements, what you buy, who you talk to/message/email and when, who you meet, what your personal habits are, what your sexual preferences are, your political stances, details of your work....

    But, you don't mind.

    All day. Every day. He's going to follow you. He'll watch you while you sleep. He'll never answer your questions or even speak to you. You'll never get to see what he is recording about you, or what he's going to do with it.

    But you don't mind.

    I'm even going to spend money on him so that he's *better* at following you and digging out your details. I'm going to buy a BIG database to record all this in, so I can correlate it with the data I have on all your contacts and associates.

    Initially, I'm going to get YOU to pay for this. You don't have a choice, because its the LAW that I made that makes you pay for this. And if thats not enough money then I'm going to sell the information about you to corporations, so that they can profile you as a consumer in a more effective way, ensuring you get the right advertising/insurance/medicines. Because you want that, don't you?

    You don't mind.

    We're also going to go to your childrens school and ask your child about how you treat them at home. We're going to ask questions like "Does daddy believe in God?", "Does he touch you at all?". Oh yes, we'll fingerprint your children and take a DNA swab while we're at it - just in case we ever need to check their data against them in the Big Database.

    But you don't mind.

    You don't mind, because you know, don't you, that you can always stop me from sending my little man in a white coat with the clipboard from following you around because you can vote me out - in a few years time.

    But I don't mind.

    Because I will just pass on the information to whoever takes over from me.

    Let's just hope they are as nice to you as I've been, eh?

    (The moral of the tale? Just because you are viewed remotely, from behind a camera, it doesn't mean it's alright.)#

    Not anonymous. I refuse to be afraid.

  18. NB
    Thumb Up

    @Steve Swann

    Well said sir.

  19. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    Fascist police state, obviously

    The businesses are cooperating with the police to pre-empt any crime that might happen by gathering the evidence in advance.

    The customers seem more than willing to assist with this process.

    The government are only pretending they are against this, infact they are all for it.

    So you have the people and the businesses co-operating with the police who are co-operating with the government to make sure everyone is monitored. It would be too big for the government to install aall this security but get everone to work together it makes it possible.

    There is a name for this happy co-operation, Fascist Police State.

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