Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Liabilities for camera surveillance

With video camera surveillance comes liability. There are three liability issues to be considered.

1 Does the device create a false sense of security? Particularly important when dummy cameras have been used. Also it raises an expectation that the output is being monitored real time and that, in the event of an incident, remedial action will be swift. This could be an issue when school activities are being watched. Lack of attention by the operator, or not having an operator could create liability.
2 Is privacy being invaded? There are cultural norms at work here. Harrah's has cameras in its UK casino restrooms but not in its US ones, yet the drug and terrorist threats being monitored are relevant to both societies.
3 Is there a written policy that explains why video surveillance is needed and identifies how it will be used? If there is not then a challenge to its use may be hard to defend.

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