Powerful CCTV Cameras that can trace your face from half a mile away – could this be a breach in human rights laws?
Most people are ignorant of how sophisticated and hi tech surveillance technology has become. In fact, surveillance cameras are now able to offer up to 29 megapixels, surpassing many cameras used by professional photographers.
Manufacturer’s figures suggest there will be 129,299 HD CCTV cameras in the UK by the end of 2012. What does this mean for Britain?
The UK’s first surveillance commissioner, Andrew Rennison, has issued a warning to the Government explaining the risks involved. “The technology has overtaken our ability to regulate it,” Mr Rennison said. “I’m convinced that if we don’t regulate it properly – ie the technological ability to use millions of images we capture – there will be a huge public backlash. It is the Big Brother scenario playing out large. It’s the ability to pick out your face in a crowd from a camera which is probably half a mile away.”
Cameras, as small as tiny dome cams, can now capture and store the images they record and use your image against a database of wanted people using algorithms that run in the background. And all of this can now be done from half a mile away, it’s that easy!
Mr Rennison continues to say that he feels that the public should have a say in whether this surveillance is acceptable and if they support it. And if not then “we need to increase the regulation”.
However, the Local Governement Association, explains the benefits of such CCTV. Going on to say that “Whether it’s tracking down a thug who brutally mugged an old lady, a vandal who trashed a war memorial or searching for a missing child, CCTV plays a crucial role in tackling crime and making people safer,” said Mehboob Khan, chairman of the association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board.
Back in February Big Brother Watch reported that UK councils have spent more than £500 million pounds over the last four years installing and operating high definition CCTV cameras.
The Big Brother Watch also echoed Mr Rennison’s concerns; claiming that the Government needed to give him more power to be able to clampdown on CCTV.
How do you feel about these extra high tech cctv cameras and about being watched 24/7?