Hailed as a tech solution to crime, security cameras throw up questions of accountability and privacy
The hit BBC thriller The Capture has thrown the scale of camera surveillance into the spotlight. I ask Gus Hosein, director of Privacy International, just how advanced the technology is – and if it’s possible to avoid it.
You’ve got to watch The Capture, Gus. It’s about a police officer who finds people hacking into the CCTV network, and it hit home how omnipresent cameras are.
They are. It started with stadiums and transport, because of football hooliganism, and was later expanded by Tony Blair as a solution to crime. In the early 2000s, the private sector was convinced to join in – in order to get an insurance renewal, businesses needed cameras. Soon it was unquestioned, but there was an attempt by the coalition government to increase regulation on cameras. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s still crime!