Camera surveillance and privacy – watching out for you when you are watching out for others

May 25, 2015 - 10:14am

Closed Circuit Television (or CCTV) is used extensively by Queensland government agencies for purposes that include crime deterrence, assisting in the investigation of criminal offences and public safety.

Changes in technology have increased the affordability and capabilities of camera surveillance. Portable devices including body-worn cameras are becoming more common, footage can be viewed on mobile devices and there is the capacity for technologies to be combined so that cameras will interface with facial recognition software to identify or locate individuals.

We have updated our guideline on the privacy impacts that must be addressed when considering or operating a camera surveillance system to take these developments into account.

The guideline now includes:

  • Advice on how to ensure that a camera surveillance system is fit for the identified purpose
  • Suggested ways of making people reasonably aware that camera surveillance is in use
  • Tips for securing footage so that it is adequately protected against misuse, loss and unauthorised access, use and disclosure
  • A sample request form for handling requests from law enforcement agencies, such as the Queensland Police Service, for copies of surveillance footage; and
  • A checklist for assessing whether a camera surveillance system meets the obligations in the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld).
  • For more information, please refer to the OIC’s Guideline:  Camera surveillance and privacy