Sunday, November 15, 2009

A look at video surveillance in Halifax

The Sunday Chronicle Herald has two articles on the increasing use of video surveillance by police and private organizations in Halifax. They are interesting reading, but what I find most interesting is that this is the first time that I've seen any dicussion of how the police manage the feeds and access to recordings. Check them out:

  • Eyes in the sky - Nova Scotia News -
  • Wireless cameras add to police toolbox - Nova Scotia News -
    The cameras in place now are not monitored all day long, although they are recording, Supt. Moore said. The images are automatically deleted if there’s no request to see them within 14 days.

    The department used guidelines from the province’s Freedom of Information office as well as the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner to develop its guidelines for using the images, he said.

    All viewing requests are made to him and only he and his technical staff have access to the recordings.

    "They’re very much locked down and once they’re collected, there’s a formalized process for someone looking to go in and find these images," he said.

    Supt. Moore said police haven’t used video from those downtown cameras to solve "big" crimes – yet.

    "We are still optimistic that it will, but to date it has not been pivotal," he said.

Any discussion of the policies regulating the use of video surveillance is a good thing, and better late than never.

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