The rise of body-worn cameras poses serious data protection and privacy concerns for the public, according to the government's surveillance camera commissioner.
Tony Porter noted that while police use of body warn cameras, such as by the Metropolitan Police, is governed by strict rules and regulations, other organisations that use the technology lack the same oversight.
"I'm talking about door supervisors at night clubs, traffic enforcement officers and environmental officers," he said while speaking at the Security Twenty15 conference in Newcastle.
As such, Porter said questions need to be asked about training, data security and who has access to recordings of the public.
"You have kit that can be picked up off a shelf for peanuts and be up and running in hours. Will your postman wear one to capture your dog barking at him? Will the local corner shop owner have one to pre-empt any robbery or theft?" he said.
"The public must be made aware of how advances in technology can alter the way they are monitored. There needs to be consultation and debate on matters that can severely impact on an individual's right to privacy."
Porter also discussed the UK's automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system which captures around 27 million images every day. The commissioner questioned the transparency surrounding the number of ANPR cameras that currently exist.
"UK ANPR is everywhere. It's hardwired into our daily lives. The police use it for counter terrorism and serious organised crime. It's an essential tool in combating both of these. More recently ANPR is being used to monitor if road tax has been paid on vehicles," Porter said.
"I can understand why the police would not want to reveal the location of cameras as this could influence how organised criminals use the road network. But I see no downside to saying how many cameras there are. It's keeping the public in the dark."
Porter added that the public must be given the full picture so they can make an informed decision about their support for CCTV.
"If these uses are revealed in sensationalist media articles or through people like Snowden rather than through serious consultation with communities it will only damage the image of surveillance and the good it can do as opposed to the bad," he said.
Porter is currently reviewing the operation of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and will present his findings to home secretary Theresa May later this year.
The code was introduced in 2013 to curb the excessive use of cameras for surveillance by increasing numbers of private and public sector organisations and an updated version was issued in 2014 by the Information Commissioner's Office.
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