Monday, July 10, 2006

Calgary sportplex security cameras tape men and boys changing in locker room

According to the Calgary Herald, a Nova Scotia man has initiated a complaint about the practices of the Talisman Centre's use of video cameras in the change rooms of this Calgary sportplex. For the last eight years, the Centre has been using video cameras as a deterrent to theft but Jim Power is concerned it is an unprecedented invasion of privacy to be taping men and boys changing in the locker room. From the article:

Security cameras watch as men, boys change at Calgary sportsplex

... Power learned in April while doing research for a yet-to-be-published book titled You Are Being Watched that for nearly a decade the city's popular, family-oriented fitness centre has had closed-circuit television cameras in its men's change rooms. There are no cameras in the toilets or urinals.

The cameras were installed in 1997 after a rash of thefts and have remained, despite evolution in the province's privacy laws.

Power launched a letter-writing campaign to Alberta government officials and plans to do a Michael Moore-esque literary documentary of Calgarians' reaction to the issue. He wants city residents who learned after the fact that their children were videotaped to write to him.

''I don't care if it's the police, a priest or the prime minister I don't want to be taped and I don't want my children taped,'' said the 49-year-old father of four.

''Calgarians can make up their own minds. But in Nova Scotia, I have yet to meet one person who didn't cringe when I told them.''

The Centre has countered that the cameras have worked to virtually eliminate theft and that the images from the cameras

are secure and not viewed unless there is an incident and a police officer is present to assist. Images are destroyed after 21 days.

No comments: