CCTV AND PRIVACY: PROTECTING THE DIRECT INTIMATE & PRIVATE ENVIRONMENT OF CITIZENS
Video-surveillance installations in the hands of a public body must in addition fulfill FOUR (4) complementary criteria:
- The principle of good faith: This criterion implies that those persons recorded on video must in principle be aware of the surveillance measure being taken. Cameras should therefore be visible in order to allow those conce
rned to adapt their behavior to the situation and if necessary decide not to enter a building or publicly used place equipped with such a system.
- The principle of proportionality: This criterion requires recording to be restricted only to material which is necessary to achieve the desired objective. Video-surveillance is only used if it is essential to achieve a particular objective and if surveillance may not be carried out effectively by other means less prejudicial to personal and fundamental rights. Recording and saving information is acceptable only within the limits of the tasks for which video-surveillance is needed.
- The principle of finality: Implies that surveillance can only be introduced to carry out a particular task. It may not be used for the purpose of recording or processing information in order to collect data endlessly, or for an undefined end use.
- Finally, the principle of legality restricts the use of video-surveillance to cases in which the infringement of personal rights is justified by the consent of the person concerned, by an overriding public or private interest, or by law.
DO PRIVATE PROPERTIES HAVE A RIGHT TO INSTALL SURVEILLANCE DEVICES THAT GO BEYOND THEIR TERRITORIAL OWNERSHIP?
Walking round in the streets of Nairobi where most of the cameras have been deployed especially on Bank Buildings, Hotel & Restaurant facilities, it is evident that the above principles have clearly been ignored.
It is, therefore, not going to be long before someone sues for infringement of privacy one of these days. There is need to get qualified installers who understand surveillance business and how it relates with the law in order to get a complete package. It will also make your footage review easier in event of an incident.