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Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

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Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby oneh2obabe » Dec 28th, 2012, 8:22 pm

Most retailers in Canada are failing to follow new federal rules when it comes to operating video surveillance cameras in their stores and businesses, according to a study by a professor of information studies at the University of Toronto.

Andrew Clement, co-founder of the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute, found that not a single video camera in one of Canada’s largest malls complied with the signage requirements of the federal Personal Information, Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

Clement and his graduate students collected information on video cameras set up in two Toronto area malls, the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. Of the hundreds of cameras on the properties, the students found only about 30 per cent had any kind of sign alerting people to their use and none met even the minimum standards required under the law.

"The findings of this study raise disturbing implications, as both video surveillance penetration and capabilities are expanding rapidly without appropriate understanding, transparency, oversight or accountability," the authors of the study wrote.

Under the law, stores are required to post signs outside their entrances that alert customers to the use of video surveillance, its purpose and a contact number so people can find out how they can obtain a copy of any footage that contains their image.

"I was surprised that in our study we didn't find a single one and it shocks me a bit," Clement told CBC News. "There is a resistance on the part of these private sector operators to entertain the idea that they have any obligations."

Clement and his students have now set up a website advising people of their rights when it comes to video surveillance at surveillancerights.ca. And they are doing further work with funding from the office of the federal privacy commissioner. The group has even developed a free app to download that allows people to document and record each time they encounter a surveillance camera.

Nathalie Desrosiers, general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, called Clement's findings surprising. She said while many people have come to accept video surveillance as part of everyday life, people also expect to have their privacy rights respected.

People have a right to choose if they want to enter a store and then have their image recorded, she said, but if they don't know they are being recorded, they can't make that choice.

"It's a question of not depriving people of the opportunity to make a decision themselves about what they want to share and what they do not want to share and that's a fundamental aspect of human dignity."

Desrosiers says this also raises concerns about how the recorded information is being used, and whether the technology is being mined for other reasons, such as targeted marketing or law enforcement.

Chantal Bernier, Canada's assistant privacy commissioner, told CBC News her office receives very few complaints about video cameras used by businesses.

"People don't know … that they are under video surveillance," she said. "If they knew how much surveillance went on, they would certainly object."

While video surveillance cameras have become almost commonplace, Bernier says their effectiveness in terms of reducing theft is questionable.

"Statistics on preventive video surveillance shows that it's practically non-existent. Even in relation to criminal investigations its effect is quite limited," she said. "So the case for video surveillance in relation to security still has to be made."

But Bernier admits her office has little clout when it comes to making companies comply with the law. "The only power we really have is the power to name," she said. "We use it only as prescribed by law and when it is in the public interest to name."

Last year, in her annual report, Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart did single out Sobeys, a major Canadian grocery chain, for failing to follow the law. The case involved a customer who slipped and fell in the store. She was not aware that the whole incident had been taped and when she found out later, Sobeys initially refused to provide her with a copy of the recording.

"Our enforcement powers have been terribly limited," Bernier said, adding all her office can do for now is try to raise awareness among both the Canadian public and private sector businesses. “We need to add enforcement powers.”

Clement agrees.

"We regulate elevators and all kinds of things. I think video surveillance should be brought under a similar regime," he said. "If we lose control over our personal images, then it's hard to maintain control over other kinds of information."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/201 ... meras.html
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby motorhomebabe » Dec 28th, 2012, 9:19 pm

I thought we already lost control, find it laughable that anyone would question vidieo survlience with all those cell phones out there clicking away.
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby FreeRights » Dec 30th, 2012, 2:53 pm

oneh2obabe wrote:While video surveillance cameras have become almost commonplace, Bernier says their effectiveness in terms of reducing theft is questionable.

"Statistics on preventive video surveillance shows that it's practically non-existent. Even in relation to criminal investigations its effect is quite limited," she said. "So the case for video surveillance in relation to security still has to be made."


Based on this alone, I believe that this person is completely out to lunch. It's literally common sense to be able to identify the benefits of using surveillance cameras in relation to security and theft prevention.
Although he had infinite patience, he was annoyed,
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby GenuinelyInterested » Dec 30th, 2012, 3:32 pm

Andrew Clement, co-founder of the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute, found that not a single video camera in one of Canada’s largest malls complied with the signage requirements of the federal Personal Information, Protection and Electronic Documents Act.


Is this the entirety of the complaint? Not enough/no signage that warns people they are on video? Is that not an assumed fact whenever in a public place? Do people enter into a mall/store/public walkway/roadway and EXPECT privacy? I don't, therefore I don't do anything that is illegal/immoral. It has worked out great for me, so far.
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby oneh2obabe » Dec 30th, 2012, 3:54 pm

GenuinelyInterested wrote:
Is this the entirety of the complaint? Not enough/no signage that warns people they are on video? Is that not an assumed fact whenever in a public place? Do people enter into a mall/store/public walkway/roadway and EXPECT privacy? I don't, therefore I don't do anything that is illegal/immoral. It has worked out great for me, so far.

No, his complaint is the stores aren't posting signs containing the contact number so people can obtain a copy of any footage that contains their image. If you fall in the store and it's caught on film, the footage can help in showing what happened if you need proof of the accident.
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby GenuinelyInterested » Dec 30th, 2012, 4:58 pm

oneh2obabe wrote:No, his complaint is the stores aren't posting signs containing the contact number so people can obtain a copy of any footage that contains their image. If you fall in the store and it's caught on film, the footage can help in showing what happened if you need proof of the accident.


So, this is about a contact phone number? What about my phone number not being posted on the side of my truck because I have a "crash camera" mounted to my windshield? It is there for my protection and even IF I was the cause of the accident, am I required to submit that video card to anyone? What is stopping me from just hitting the delete button?
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby oneh2obabe » Dec 30th, 2012, 5:15 pm

If the privacy law applies to your business then yes, under the new law, you'd be required to post a contact number. For them to change the law it would appear they received a number of complaints and decided the best course of action was to was to beef up the current law. Doubt if it'll make a huge difference as very few consumers read the signs that are already posted.
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby fvkasm2x » Dec 31st, 2012, 10:27 am

oneh2obabe wrote:"People don't know … that they are under video surveillance," she said. "If they knew how much surveillance went on, they would certainly object."


You mean people can't figure out what the black domes are in the ceiling?

They don't understand that in almost every retail store, there is a sign near the entrance that says something about CCTV and shoplifters will be prosecuted? Hell, in many stores there is a TV when you walk in the door SHOWING you on camera.

I know people are dumb... but this is quite amazing.
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby theyeti » Jan 7th, 2013, 8:41 am

i could care less if someone steals from eatons center in toronto . if there is a law protecting me from being filmed i want it fully enforced that sounds like a good law .
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby GordonH » Jan 7th, 2013, 9:39 am

With every Tom, Dick and Sally with camera's at the ready to film any stupid (including illegal) or funny thing someone else is doing, then adds them to FB or Youtube.
If everyone sued over that alone the courts would come to standstill.

So common sense says don't do something foolish outside of your home, because chances are it will be filmed. lol
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby theyeti » Jan 7th, 2013, 1:31 pm

"U.S. television provider Verizon, for example, has patented a DVR that can scan a room with its camera, which could be used to better tailor ads to the television viewers present."

took that out of an article on yahoo thats scary
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby LoneWolf_53 » Jan 7th, 2013, 5:02 pm

theyeti wrote:"U.S. television provider Verizon, for example, has patented a DVR that can scan a room with its camera, which could be used to better tailor ads to the television viewers present."

took that out of an article on yahoo thats scary


I'm betting people will be just tripping over themselves to get their hands on such a unit.

Talk about invasion of privacy. :200:
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby theyeti » Jan 7th, 2013, 5:04 pm

ya verizon sells smart phones with cameras and microphones ....
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby JayByrd » Jan 7th, 2013, 8:20 pm

Taking out a patent, and actually manufacturing a product are vastly different, especially when we're talking about corporations. I'd bet a dollar their patent covers virtually any means by which the PVR knows who's watching.
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Re: Store video cameras failing to comply with privacy laws

Postby theyeti » Jan 8th, 2013, 1:25 pm

i dont have any knowledge of patent laws or corporate law or verizon or there strategies so i couldnt say . but from what the article i read said... i know where ill be sticking a small piece of black tape if that machine comes to my house
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