Today’s security systems are collecting data at exorbitant rates, continuously gathering information from hundreds —if not thousands— of sensors and funneling that information into a control room for analysis and response. Operators are tasked with sifting through the footage and material, working around the clock to recognize potential threats or anomalies. But there just aren’t enough human eyes available for organizations to dedicate to this overwhelming responsibility.
It has been said that Britain has more surveillance cameras than any other country in the world. This proliferation of CCTV cameras led the government to establish a surveillance camera commissioner responsible for overseeing their governance – the only country in the world to do so. In another first, the commissioner has now released a national strategy for England and Wales to set out how CCTV should be operated and to ensure that cameras are used in the public interest.
Legislative efforts began in eleven cities aimed at requiring police departments to be more transparent about the surveillance technology they use. The bills will also reportedly propose increased community control over the use of surveillance tools. These efforts, spearheaded by the ACLU and other civil liberty organizations, are important at a time when surveillance technology is improving and is sometimes used without the knowledge or approval of local officials or the public.