ICO tells cops to behave on CCTV
'Businesses are being forced into gathering information'
The Information Commissioner's Office is poised to tell the Home Office to rein in police demands that pubs and clubs install CCTV cameras as a pre-condition of their licences.
The issue came up back in February when it emerged that the Metropolitan Police were pressuring a pub in Islington to install cameras in order to guarantee their co-operation in a licence request.
New landlord Nick Draper said at the time: "I was stunned to find the police were prepared to approve, ie not fight, our licence on condition that we installed CCTV capturing the head and shoulders of everyone coming into the pub, to be made available to them upon request."
The Met said it was not a policy for the whole of London but: "individual boroughs may impose blanket rules".
A club in south London was told by police that: "all persons entering the premises must supply verifiable identification details that are passed through a digital scanning and recording system such as Club Scan, Idvista or similar computerised system". A fetish night held at the venue did manage to get the club to agree to delete visitors' details after 31 days.
Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith told The Telegraph that he would send a formal submission to the Home Office calling for tighter rules on CCTV and other ID scanners being used to collect innocent people's fingerprints and pictures.
Smith said: "What we are worried about is that businesses are being forced into gathering information for police and the law enforcement agencies.
"The question is whether we are going too far and is this surveillance at a level that is unacceptable that doesn't justify the benefits. Pubs and clubs should not become information gathering sources for police."
A spokesman for the ICO was unable to provide any further details, but said that the formal submission had not been sent to the Home Office yet. ®
Fascist police state, obviously
The businesses are cooperating with the police to pre-empt any crime that might happen by gathering the evidence in advance.
The customers seem more than willing to assist with this process.
The government are only pretending they are against this, infact they are all for it.
So you have the people and the businesses co-operating with the police who are co-operating with the government to make sure everyone is monitored. It would be too big for the government to install aall this security but get everone to work together it makes it possible.
There is a name for this happy co-operation, Fascist Police State.
Well said sir.
@why does everyone moan about a lack of privacy
Have you heard of "Freedom of Association?" In short, it's the right to hang around with whomever you want, for whatever reason you want, without someone suspecting you of a crime due merely to the fact that you are gathering in a group, or who you may be associating with.
There are lots of examples where monitoring who associates with whom, and where can lead to revealing sensitive information that can damage the lives of law abiding citizens.
Let's say that several employees from a company are seen meeting with a representative of a Union. It could then be assumed they were trying to unionise their workplace, or perhaps it could be assumed they were seeking to leave their workplace, and take up elsewhere. A dozen other assumptions can also be made. This is only one small example, but many more exist.
If everyone can see who you hang out with, when and where, then the only activities that become allowed are those that benefit those in power. If you step over the line, just a little, word will spread, and you will lose.
Constant monitoring by the police is a short step to constant monitoring by employers, parents, spouses, etc. Any information made available to the cops can be made available anywhere else for a fee.
When I gather in public, sometimes I am gathering in a place, and at a time specifically to avoid other entanglements. Sometimes no one owns property large enough to hold an assembly of all those I would spend my time with, and yet we do still expect privacy and a freedom to assemble anonymously, should we choose. If every bar, strip club and fetish shop must monitor everyone, how long then until every hotel must as well? How long before you can not rent time at a convention centre or a conference room without your details being recorded?
In that society, where do you go then if you want to unionise? Or what if you want that secret tryst with the secretary, or want to arrange to see that rare collectible sports card or anniversary gift without your spouse or parents knowing? How about living a fantasy? Changing your name for a weekend, paying in cash at a hotel, and pretending to be someone you're not, just to see how the other side lives? Many fantasies, or business issues, personal issues and so forth simply can't occur without a reasonable expectation of privacy and a certain level of anonymity.
Maybe you enjoy following all the rules set at all levels of your life, but not everyone is so content with their existence. If everyone's movements are known all the time, then any opportunity they have to better their situation other than doing exactly what they are told and waiting for a pat on the head is taken from them.
I am afraid of your world, sir.