Sunday, June 03, 2007

English Privacy Plummet Continues

This is truly sick. [h/t Schneier]
PRIVATELY-employed `super wardens' are to go on patrol in Greater Manchester wearing head-mounted video cameras.

The 20 parking attendants, who work for NCP Services, will be the first in the country to be issued with the equipment.

Their main role is to issue parking tickets but under legislation brought in last year they will also have powers to give on-the-spot fines for anti-social behaviour.

Salford council has asked the wardens to issue penalties up to £80 for offences which include littering, flyposting and allowing dogs to foul the pavement. NCP will use the film as evidence to back up their wardens if any fine is challenged and also in the event of any attack or abuse.
I suppose in some ways this has a benefit, but I wonder to what level the decision making on what is "anti-social" behavior. I also don't see how this will prevent attacks or abuse since the person perpetrating such acts won't likely do it while the guy is facing them. It may lower the amount of abuse, but will it lower the amount of power abuse by someone wearing this camera?

Another thing comes down to the privacy of the individual. This is a private company recording and storing this information, not the government. What protections are there to prevent abuse by private companies?

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