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Ever since the emergence of video surveillance technology, the issues of privacy and civil liberties have been discussed at length by all parties. The pros (fight against crime, better emergency response, etc) have been weighted against the cons (invasion of privacy, abuse of surveillance, etc.).

MetroVideoMonitor will present in this section documents and comments that can help define the best possible governance guidelines for video surveillance systems.


"Guidelines for Public Video Surveillance " ,A guide to protecting communities and preserving civil liberties - By The Constitution Project

While much attention has been paid to efforts on the federal level to enhance our safety in the aftermath of September 11th, state and local programs also directly affect the security and civil liberties of Americans. For many communities, the desire to implement video surveillance systems stems not from a reaction to September 11th, but from the desire for crime control. This report is designed to provide a set of practical guidelines for state and local officials who are contemplating installation of—or who have already installed—public video surveillance systems. Through these guidelines, the Constitution Project’s Liberty and Security Initiative seeks to demonstrate that  communities can choose to implement such security systems in ways that protect residents’ privacy rights and civil liberties.


"Why is Governance of CCTV Technology an Issue "? -  By Donald Zoufal

As concerns of terror have spread across the United States and around the world, law enforcement agencies are rapidly moving to utilize a range of technologies including CCTV to achieve greater awareness and security. At the same time, government is utilizing emerging CCTV technology for a range of other legitimate government activities like ordinary crime control, traffic management and enforcement, crowd control, directing emergency response assets, and situational awareness in controlling large scale emergency response.  These technologies and the data they collect raise privacy concerns. It is a critical governmental function to administer the use of those technologies to ensure they are related to appropriate government purposes and that individual civil rights are protected.  This article is intended to identify the requirements for policy-based control and auditability to be addressed by a properly enabled surveillance video management system.  For the whole article, click here.



"Video Surveillance on Public Streets: a New Law Enforcement Tool for Local Governments " - By Paul Humphreys
New York State Bar Association, One on One, Summer 2008 

Since the early 1970s, municipalities across the United States have experimented with video surveillance of public places. Of those  municipalities that have implemented public surveillance systems, many dismantle the system after it fails to result in a significant reduction in crime or increase in arrests.  Somewhat ironically, increasingly more United States cities are installing large scale public video  surveillance systems.  Aided by the Federal government, grant money to bolster homeland defense has made implementing video surveillance in public places even more enticing for some municipalities. Although more cities now  than ever utilize public video surveillance systems, few cities actually regulate their use.

Other documentation:

Video Surveillance and the Constitution of Public Space - By Marc Jonathan Blitz, Teaxs Law Review, May 1, 2004

Reasonable expectations of privacy? : Eleven country reports on camera surveillance and workplace privacy
By Sjaak Nouwt, Berend R. de Vries, J.E.J. Prins, Corien Prins
Published by Cambridge University Press, 2005

Intelligent Video Surveillance Networks: Data Protection Challenges - By F. Coudert and J. Dumortier
Int. Center for Law & ICT (ICRI), Katholieke Univ. Leuven, Leuven - Publication Date: 4-7 March 2008, Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ARES.2008.143 from

Video surveillance techniques are evolving from static and passive cameras documenting events to dynamic and preventive networks. Two trends lead this change: the shift towards wireless IP systems and the emergence of video analytics. The former allows for flexible networks, massive customization whereas the later comes to solve the problem of increase network complexity. This evolution brings however new threats for individual freedoms, challenging in particular the application of data protection safeguards.

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