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New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Midnight_Caller
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New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Hi All
Just seen this:
[quote="The Independent"]
New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk
CCTV systems capable of identifying and tracking a person's face from half a mile away are turning Britain into a Big Brother society, the UK's first surveillance commissioner has warned.
New high-definition cameras are being rolled out across UK cities without public consultation into the intrusion they pose, Andrew Rennison told The Independent.
The increasing sophistication of surveillance technology is becoming so serious that Britain may be in breach of its own human rights laws, he said. There are already thought to be around 1.85 million CCTV cameras in the UK.
In a stark message to police forces and the Government, Mr Rennison predicted there will be a justifiable public outcry if facial recognition systems and HD cameras are allowed to proliferate on high streets, public transport and at entertainment venues. "The technology has overtaken our ability to regulate it," he said.

[Snip]
Quote
Mr Rennison said most people have no idea how advanced the technology has become and of its power to intrude in their lives.
While automatic number-plate recognition systems are now used by every police force in the country remotely to track suspect vehicles' movements, systems to identify people reminiscent of science fiction films are also becoming available.
Read More Here

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12 REPLIES
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Given the often poor quality of CCTV images when trying to identify miscreants and yobs its perhaps not such a bad idea. However, a camera can only see in a straight line, how many parts of this country can you name where being able to "see" in a straight line for half a mile without a bend in the road or building etc. blocking the view?
Think the "half mile" aspect is over stated, the increase in quality should be an improvement.
If you've got nothing to hide, CCTV shouldn't worry you. If you're a victim of a crime you might well be clamouring for CCTV evidence. .
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

The range of these Hi-Def CCTV systems is tied to their cost and the amount of money spent on the data storage used to store the images. With robust mountings and image stabilisation the range of the high end CCTV is much better than half a mile to get a very clear face picture in daylight, night vision.  Personally I hate the idea of the video surveillance tied to mobile phone tracking. The potential for misuse by elected and unelected Government is enormous. I certainly didn't vote for a police state.
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

I agree. Life is difficult enough for the local burglar what with alarms, high security locks, dogs and nosey neighbours without adding to their problems with Hi Def CCTV.
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

If these forums had a like button I'd have clicked it for that last post.
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Quote from: Petlew
If you've got nothing to hide, CCTV shouldn't worry you. If you're a victim of a crime you might well be clamouring for CCTV evidence. .

I've never liked that adage Sad
In principal the idea of CCTV seems good but in practice I fear that it is open to so much abuse.
What if the software identifies an innocent person, will that overrule human observation? There is no substitution for proper police work in  my opinion.

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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Quite frankly this isn't new. If you've ever been inside a control room for your local areas cameras you'll know that the optical zoom alone can pick your face out from 1/4 mile away on many of them. It's naturally only a matter of time before software is written to go with the hardware that makes it capable of tracking people / objects and identifying them.
Again, as in MCs other thread, this is all the fault of the nation. You won't protest, you won't write to your MP, you won't do anything.. what do you expect power hungry MPs to really do when you won't take action? Run around like a butler offering people a cup of tea? Seriously of course they're going to start turning the country into a draconian place to live and work. We're becoming a slave nation and none of you can see it.
Considering theres what.. £65million people in this country, why did it really take so long for FairFuelUK to get 100k signatures? - because no-one really cares or wants to do anything. It's the simple truth.
So.. to counter this entire topic, GO AHEAD parliament, bring us your cameras, spy on everything we do and try to make life harder for us at every opportunity because we as a nation don't really give a damn!
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

The software already exists Sprite. I saw the stuff demonstrated five years ago by a Kazakhstan security company (i.e. ex KGB) in a London exhibition centre. They'd loaded their population's passport photo's on to a database and had cameras at pinch points in their transport system such as railway stations, coach stations and airports. It had two modes of operation one was to look for an individual (very accurate) among the crowds and the second was to log individuals passing the camera. The second was not so accurate when running on a Pentium PC, no doubt with upgrades in processors such as the Playstation cell processors the accuracy increases substantially.  Unsurprisingly they'd set their equipment to record the faces of the people passing their stand in the security products exhibition.
I've no doubt  the UK and USA security services have something better.
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kmilburn
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

I've never liked the 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' argument, and doubt those that propose it have actually thought it through..
E.g. A new government department will be set up to do the following, we expect no opposition because if you've got nothing to hide,  you've got nothing to fear!:

  • take regular blood samples for testing purposes

  • examine all you correspondents

  • monitor all your bank/card transactions

  • regularly inspect you house

  • etc.


If you couple it with the police becoming over reliant on a few tests (e.g. DNA) and kneejerk reactions,  you end up with cases like this.
Teenager wrongly accused of rape because of DNA contamination is released from prison
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

It's about getting the balance right but I guess that can never be achieved as one persons idea of the right balance is not shared by others.
That teenager wrongly accused was down to someone not doing their job correctly and sadly a lot of mistakes are down to people not doing their jobs properly and in a hospital this could easily cost someone their life.
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Quote from: kmilburn
If you couple it with the police becoming over reliant on a few tests (e.g. DNA) and kneejerk reactions,  you end up with cases like this.
Teenager wrongly accused of rape because of DNA contamination is released from prison

I went for a job interview a while back at a factory that makes plastic products. I was told to go to reception. I went there, lights were off. The door was an electronic keypad locked door. I noticed it was unlocked, pulled it open, ventured in to find no-one there. Went back outside and a bloke came from nowhere to meet me. I said I'd been inside to look for someone and he said "you can't get in there it's locked!". I told him no it isn't, and showed him. Bothered? Not in the slightest. The place was being run down due to a takeover and security was the last of their concerns.
Why am I telling you this? Because hey also make DNA testing kits, swab kits etc. In a place that makes stuff that shouldn't be exposed to a risk of contamination, you'd expect doors to be kept locked right?
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Midnight_Caller
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Just seen this:
[quote="The Guardian"]
Hi-def CCTV technology threatens our democracy – we must act now
High-definition CCTV cameras and facial recognition will bring a nightmarish future to our streets. A privacy law is long overdue
At what point will the British public realise that its privacy and freedom is in mortal danger? If the new surveillance commissioner Andrew Rennison is right about the development of high-definition and facial-recognition technologies in CCTV systems, it should be today, because these technologies represent an unprecedented threat. They are being allowed to proliferate without any regulation or consideration as to how they will eventually be deployed against the individual.
You can pay attention to this issue, or you can let it go. That's what most of us did with the automatic number-plate recognition camera system (ANPR) which was installed on Britain's major road and in town centres to watch in real time and log 90% of vehicle journeys. The decision was taken not by parliament but by the Association of Chief Police Officers – whose proceedings are secret, because Acpo is a private limited company.
It is remarkable this was allowed in a country that prides itself on history of liberty. It is happening again, but with even greater implications for a free society. Rennison, a former police officer who has just been confirmed in the job of surveillance commissioner, paints a stark picture in the Independent: "A tiny camera in a dome with 360-degree view can capture your face in the crowd, and there are now the algorithms that run in the background." The test data he has seen suggests that cameras will pick out a face in a crowd with a 90% success rate.
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Re: New HD CCTV puts human rights at risk

Surely a major flaw in this system is that many 'criminals' attempt to cover their identity, for example those participating in the relatively recent riots wearing scarves over their faces with hoods (and baseball caps) over their heads, is anyone claiming that the system would be good enough to identify someone covered up in such a way?  Equally (and this is NOT a racist thought), those wearing the traditional muslim Burka, I can't remember the details but I do recall something about a (male) terror suspect being stopped at a UK airport wearing this type of clothing and attempting to travel using a female relative's passport, again I'd question the ability of HD CCTV to identify such a person.
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