Feeds

Amateur CCTV sleuth site probed by privacy watchdog

ICO is very definitely watching the watchers

Security for virtualized datacentres

A new website that would let internet users monitor CCTV cameras online has hit trouble before launch, with the data protection watchdog suggesting the idea could be illegal.

Internet Eyes, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, plans to charge businesses £20 per month to have their security camera feeds monitored by its members, who would text in if they spot something suspicious. The amateur sentries would then be entered into a crime-fighting league to compete for a monthly £1,000 cash prize.

The firm first touted the idea in October, gaining extensive national coverage, but has made no major announcements since.

That's because Internet Eyes is the subject of a probe by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which has today voiced doubts about its legality.

Assistant Information Commissioner Jonathan Bamford told The Register: "CCTV operators should use appropriately trained staff to monitor images. If a CCTV system is established to help prevent and detect crime, it would be appropriate to disclose images to law enforcement agencies where a crime needs to be investigated.

"However, it is not appropriate to disclose images of identifiable individuals for entertainment purposes or to place them on the internet.

"If images are to be released for identification purposes, this should not generally be done by anyone other than the law enforcement agencies where necessary when investigating a crime."

He said the ICO held a meeting with Internet Eyes and some businesses who had signed up for their CCTV to be monitored in December to explain its concerns.

"The ICO is reviewing this response to assess whether the scheme complies with requirements of the Data Protection Act," Bamford added.

The firm had included features it said would protect privacy and the security of premises in its plans, such as serving up random, unlabelled feeds to users.

Internet Eyes did not immediately return a call requesting comment on the ICO's concerns.

A note on its website says: "Due to further stipulations arising with the ICO we are delaying launch until these items are dealt with and approved. We take the ICO's views very seriously and are keen to work within their guidelines."

In October the firm's founder Tony Morgan asserted the sincerity of the website, saying, "It's not a game - we're fighting crime and terrorism". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.