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ICO Critcises Site That Allows Public To Monitor CCTV

A website that provides a platform for the public to monitor and report crimes via CCTV footage of public places has been heavily criticised by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for allegedly violating data protection legislation.

According to reports, the ICO received a complaint about a clip from one of the CCTV footage on the site being available via Google’s video sharing site YouTube. The clip allegedly showed an innocent, identifiable person shopping, which the regulatory board termed as unacceptable.

Following the incident, the ICO issued a strict order to the site, asking it to make significant changes in its business practices.

"CCTV footage should not end up on YouTube when it shows someone simply out doing their shopping. A person's CCTV image is their personal data," said deputy commissioner David Smith, the BBC (opens in new tab)reports.

“The law says that it should only be disclosed where necessary, such as for the purposes of crime detection, and not merely for entertainment,” he added.

ICO also asked the website to make sure that images transferred over the Web are encrypted, and to maintain records of the footage watched by its registered users.

“We will continue to keep a close watch on them and do not rule out taking more formal enforcement action if further complaints are received," said Smith.