Israel has set a baseline for ‘secret’ video surveillance in the workspace and has codified it. The unlawful use of surveillance cameras to monitor employees in the workplace exposes the employer to civilian (including employment related and tortious), administrative and criminal action. An employer must establish a specific and detailed policy with respect to the use of surveillance cameras and it must notify its employees of this policy. Such a policy is necessary for establishing that the employer has obtained the employees’ informed consent.
The city of Barrie, Ontario, Canada, will take a closer look at regulating technology that’s eyeballing Barrie. Council has asked staff to investigate a potential bylaw to regulate home security video surveillance systems, domestic closed-circuit television surveillance, and drones with cameras. Other city councillors have the same issues but are also concerned about regulation.
Detroit police and city officials are drafting an ordinance that would make it mandatory for all venues that serve customers after 10 p.m. to join Project Green Light, a program that allows officers to monitor businesses’ high-definition video feeds in real time. All businesses open that late —from party stores and gas stations to sports stadiums like Comerica Park and venues like the Fox Theatre— would be subject to the ordinance if it’s passed, police said. Police report double-digit reductions in violent crime at businesses that have enrolled in Project Green Light.
For a number of years now, public life has seen an exponential increase of the use of video recording equipment. The question remains under which conditions video equipment can be installed and to which extent video recordings can be allowed as evidence within the European Union (EU) legal system. Not only in the public space, but also on the work floor are cameras deployed regularly. In addition, it is almost a certainty that most events are recorded by dashcams, drones, or smartphones. The opinions diverge on whether or not this is a positive evolution. What has become clear is that video recordings can be used as evidence in legal procedures.
Legislation approved by the Pennsylvania state Senate on Wednesday seeks to clear legal hurdles for police departments to expand their officers’ use of body cameras, and it gives departments the discretion to refuse public requests for copies of audio or video recordings by officers. The bill, which passed 47-1 after brief comments on the Senate floor, would add Pennsylvania to a growing list of states that are setting statewide policy over the collection of audio and video by officers, including from dashboard and body cameras.
On February 15, the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS Act) was introduced by a bipartisan group of US Congress members. Designed to enact comprehensive rules for both government agencies and commercial service providers, the GPS Act would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using GPS data to track an individual’s location and would require service providers to obtain customer consent before sharing geolocation data with outside entities.
In the months since the Los Angeles Police Department began rolling out thousands of body cameras to officers, during a time when video has prompted new scrutiny of policing across the country, a key question persists. When should the footage become public? On Tuesday, the civilian board that oversees the LAPD began a process to review the department’s current policy of generally withholding that video —whether it was captured by body cameras, patrol car cameras or otherwise collected during an investigation— unless ordered to release it in court. Some police commissioners, along with Chief Charlie Beck, have indicated in recent months that they were open to revisiting the policy, but Tuesday marked a more formal step toward that.
Germany’s strict privacy laws prevent the widespread usage of surveillance cameras, but the coalition government on Wednesday approved regulation that could change things. Germany would allow more video surveillance in public places, under a draft law passed by the cabinet on Wednesday, reflecting growing security fears in a country that has for decades been wary of police intrusion. The bill was agreed in principle by the parties in Angela Merkel’s coalition last month, well before Monday’s deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that was claimed by Islamic State.
Unmanned Aircraft are definitely a transformative technology. They open up the lowest parts of the airspace to productive use. At the same time, they also create new problems for privacy and security. As a result, interest in “drone defense” technology has been skyrocketing. It seems that there is a new innovative defensive system unveiled by entrepreneurs on a weekly basis. A new letter form the Office of Airports Safety and Standards, however, indicates that the FAA would like to slow down and coordinate this new technological stampede.
Marke “Hoot” Gibson, the deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said two of the biggest issues facing the FAA related to unmanned aviation systems, or drones, are privacy and preemption. Gibson said the FAA is not in the business of dealing with privacy, but there is a long history of case law dealing with traditional aviation. “However, it has generally dealt with noise and airports —this is personal use— it comes right in your back yard,” he said, referring to unmanned aircraft.