I was recently interviewed by CTV Rajeev Dhir and CBC Megan Benedictson regarding a pen-shaped ‘spy’ video camera discovered in the staff change room of a Winnipeg public swimming pool. Check out the links above if the story if of interest to you.
The new Barbie Video Girl, which retails for just over $100, has a built-in camera in the doll’s necklace and an LCD screen on her back. The doll also comes equipped with a USB cable that enables you to transfer video recordings to your home computer and then online to YouTube or Facebook.
Not surprisingly, some are calling for a ban on Barbie Video Girl because of the potential that children will post online videos which infringe their privacy. Should we ban Barbie Video Girl? If so, should we ban all children’s toys with cameras? Read more>>
A former administrator in the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie has alleged that town politicians installed hidden video surveillance cameras in nearly every room in the municipality offices to secretly spy on rival councillors, staff and even the public.
Manitoba’s Ombudsman is investigating these explosive allegations. If they are true, it is very hard to image a legal defence. But can the use of covert video surveillance ever be legal?
But what if some individual witnesses don’t have privacy concerns and actually want their testimony broadcast to the world?
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.
My column of June 4, 2008 in the Winnipeg Free Press describes the guidelines published by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada jointly with the privacy commissioners of British Columbia and Alberta, and how businesses can use them to remain compliant with the law.
My February 7, 2005 column in the Winnipeg Free Press concerns identity theft and workplace surveillance.