Protecting personal data in camera surveillance practices

L. Dubbeld

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    This paper explores in which ways privacy (in particular, data protection principles) comes to the fore in the day-to-day operation of a public video surveillance system. Starting from current European legal perspectives on data protection, and building on an empirical case study, the meanings and management of privacy in the practice of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) will be discussed in order to identify the ways in which data protection is addressed in the operation of a video surveillance system. The case study suggests that views expressed by actors involved in the use of CCTV and the organisational and technical measures that have been employed, are related to a number of data protection issues, in particular principles regarding data quality. In addition, the case shows that while regulations (consisting in particular of organisational procedures) pertaining to the permissibility of data processing can be discerned in the practice of centralised CCTV, few indications exist that mechanisms taking into account data subjects’ rights were established. Therefore, the system of video surveillance discussed in this paper suggests that different elements of data protection feature in different ways in the context of CCTV. This finding gives clues as to future research on privacy and camera surveillance.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)546-563
    Number of pages18
    JournalSurveillance and society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • METIS-228025
    • IR-60961

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