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Latest guidance from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner

10 April 2019

The Surveillance camera commissioner announced a new product standard launch date and National Surveillance Camera Day.

Tony Porter, the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner, told attendees to The Security Event 2019 in Birmingham that a Secured By Design and Default standard for video surveillance manufacturers would be launched in June.

The standard, developed in conjunction with manufacturers including Bosch, Hikvision, Samsung, Axis, Hanwha Techwin and Milestone Systems, will aim to ensure that security surveillance products are cyber and network secure by default out of the box.

In addition, he said he and his standards lead Alex Carmichael are scoping a new British standard for facial recognition technologies, and looking into new certification schemes for installers and consultants. Facial recognition, in particular, has been in focus in recent times, as Porter made an intervention at a major retail mall he believed was using the technology inappropriately.

“Big changes to the surveillance industry are coming, including Artificial Intelligence and integrated technology, and we will be looking at the legitimacy of its use,” he said. “This is much broader than just GDPR.”

There are also plans to launch a National Surveillance Camera Day. “We will be opening up the use of surveillance to the public,” Porter explained, “so they have the opportunity to see the good it does, and also to be able to criticise it as well. There should be considered control around its use, and this National Surveillance Camera Day will be part of the discussion around that.”

The National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales was launched two years ago. Porter is supported by a Home Office team but is ultimately independent, and holds the government and police forces to account.

In future, amongst other issues he will be looking at:

  • Developing new standards or guidelines around emerging technology
  • Consider broadening the SCC remit beyond current relevant authorities
  • Offering guidance to the public to better understand emerging technology
  • Providing more information to the public at the ‘front end’ of a system about its use
  • System owners to consider CJS requirements when specifying new systems
  • CJS to better demonstrate value end product to help demonstrate effectiveness