Privacy advocates are already voicing concern. But unlike previous public debates regarding privacy and surveillance cameras, I expect that the concerns that’ll be raised during and after the 2010 Olympics will be more comprehensive than the traditional “privacy vs security” debate. For instance, Jennifer Stoddart, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, recently commented on this blog that “one of the big issues will revolve around the pervasive crowd surveillance measures, and what will happen with all of the cameras and recordings after the flame is extinguished.”
Of course, there are legal tests that governments (and businesses) should use to determine the appropriateness of installing surveillance cameras in the first place. But once any organization has decided to install surveillance cameras there’s a corresponding requirement to appropriately manage the data that’s collected. For instance, organizations must ensure that they have security, retention and destruction policies in place. This is the “devil in the detail” that’s often overlooked.
I expect public scrutiny of the surveillance cameras being used during the 2010 Olympics. And such scrutiny will increase public expectations on businesses to properly manage data that they too collect by surveillance cameras.