Snoops' CCTV streaming website investigated

A web site which planned to pay people to spot criminal activity live on CCTV streamed onto the Internet is being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Internet Eyes had offered to pay users up to £1,000 to report criminals caught in action, on the Internet.

The ICO reacted to complaints from civil liberties campaigners concerned by the notion of neighbour being paid to spy on neighbour.

The organisation is focused on ensuring data protection laws, are enforced and thinks CCTV footage should be viewed by trained staff and not Aunt Ethel in the back room.

Privacy International and No CCTV said they complained to the ICO in response to calls from concerned members of the public.

Assistant information commissioner Jonathan Bamford told the BBC, it was, "not appropriate to disclose images of identifiable individuals for entertainment purposes or to place them on the Internet".

Internet Eyes sales and marketing manager Max Patey said 13,390 people had already registered on the site and were now logged on, tapping their thumbs, waiting to start wading through billions upon billions of hours of footage of street corners, rubbish bins and occasional urban foxes.

The UK has the most CCTV cameras per head of population of anywhere in the world. Soon we'll have one embedded at birth. Half of us will find jobs keeping an eye on what the other half is up to.