WOB value

Britain

 
11/12
2008

UK: Want to see yourself on CCTV?

You probably know that CCTV cameras everywhere on the streets, buses, stations, in shops and banks and so on, are watching you. Especially in Britain, where there are an estimated 13 million CCTV cameras. But you might not know that you can actually get a copy of these video records, reports The Telegraph.

By using the Freedom Of Information act or WOB, you can legally ask for any data – including the aforementioned video records – stored on you. (source: UK Telegraph)

Checking out the effectiveness and the implementation of the legislation, English comedian Mark Thomas has put police officers to the test. He got the records and ran into some interesting matters about the disconnection in a police unit, carrying out transport controlling:

Many people are uncomfortable with the march of the surveillance state – but a Manchester band has used it to their advantage. An unsigned band – Get Out Clause - recorded a video-clip using 80 different public cameras in the city. Later they admitted that not all of the shots were made by public cameras, but this was a good way to check how the legislation works and was an original an original way to advertise their single.

The band set up its equipment and performed in front of the cameras. As a next step, they made requests on the records at the competent bodies – shop owners, police, city-administration – in order to have copies of them. What interesting is that many of the organisations and owners of cameras – complying the law - refused to give them the record referring to reasons like: the camera was pointing to another direction, wasn’t on, had a technical fault.

Police and public camera records were somehow more accessible - than the videos made by cameras of private individuals, shops or organizations - proving that the law exists and needed to be observed.

Brigitte Alfter

 
 

 

 
 
 

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