Tic Toc – Legal CCTV System or not? We still have big problems!

Category: News, Uncategorized
11 November 2013, Comments: 0

More than two weeks after the clocks changed in the UK and still finding CCTV systems that are an hour out in their time.

As I had mentioned in my follow-up report, under the fourth principle of the UK data protection legislation, the data (in this case CCTV images) “shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date”. So when your clock is not correct then the time in not accurate. The time information then is indeed not accurate, The data collected and managed by the data controller breaches UK data protection law. That means that the CCTV does not comply with the legal requirements of UK law therefore meaning that the system is not legal in accordance with the requirements and therefore illegal. We may not like the term but the use of the word “ineffective” or “inaccurate” does not show the seriousness of the situation: the system is not of the legal standard required under UK law.

With regard to a suggestion of the “worst case being that a court may say the cctv footage is inadmissible as evidence due to questions over the accuracy of the time”.
Far from that being the worse case, what would the implications be on top of the fact that the system breaches the law and is therefore not legal?
So if the evidence is not allowed in court? What about the victim? They see the perpetrator getting off with the crime. How confident are they now in CCTV? Are they just going to accept that or are they going to take legal action against those in charge of the CCTV? Sue the Data Controller? And maybe legal action against the third-party company that checks the time may come into this.
And who makes any compensation pay-outs? The insurance company may question the initial insurance cover of the CCTV liability now because the CCTV system was not compliant with the law. So if the CCTV was publically-owned then who pays the possible fine, compensation, court costs etc – the good old taxpayer?

But aside from sue and counter sue – the most important part of all this is that the reputation of CCTV will be pulled through all sorts of negative publicity. The confidence that the public have in CCTV will spiral downwards. The phrase of “I’m happy with CCTV as I haven’t done anything wrong” takes a bit of a questioning then since the innocent victim cannot now rely on the CCTV which the victim thought was protecting them. Then all the deluge of bad media coverage.

It really can’t be much simpler that to check a clock and make sure that the time is correct.

If you haven’t done so already then please do it now. And every day. Actually just do it regularly and document that fact.

That way CameraWatch won’t have to write these kind of articles and you won’t need to read them!

Remember: CCTV is a wonderful tool – when it is managed correctly and legally.

Paul Mackie
Chief Executive & Compliance Director

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>