Feeds

Trial by CCTV claims innocent victim

Mistaken identity

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

It may sound like a fictional short story but Allan Dunne was filmed, featured on TV as a criminal, arrested and questioned when he turned up to a police station to explain, suspended and threatened with the sack, all within two days and all thanks to modern CCTV surveillance technology.

His crime? To take £20 out of his own account from a cash machine.

Allan was caught on CCTV making the withdrawn soon after a thief had used the cashpoint with a stolen card. Undercover police assumed him to be an accomplice and released the footage they had of him to Granada TV's Crimefile programme. This went out on TV the next day, the Daily Mail reports.

Allan immediately went to a police station with records of his bank account to explain the error but was arrested and questioned. He was eventually bailed and told to return in a month. Subsequently, his bosses suspended him.

When he finally managed to get the truth of the matter across, Greater Manchester Police suddenly changed tack and apologised unreservedly. Mr Dunne can have his job back but he has yet to return because he says he's stressed out and people in the street will think he's a criminal. And can you blame him?

The fact is that Allan has every right to sue not only the police but also Granada for showing the programme. And the fact remains that this would never have happened and would never have gone so far had it not been for the false confidence that people have in this surveillance technology.

Just last weekend, a long feature in the Sunday Times went into this very scenario of innocent people being caught up in a web because data is accumulated so fast that people automatically assume guilt.

As you may know, the UK is currently the most monitored place in the entire world. There isn't a street in London where you can't be picked up on CCTV cameras. The rest of the country is much the same. ®

Related Link

Sunday Times article

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.