back to article Changing room spy cam sparks privacy tsar blast

Hong Kong privacy tsar Allan Chiang has been forced to clarify to bosses that it’s not OK to spy on their employees, after property company Hong Yip was found to have installed spy cameras in one of its buildings to monitor staff. In a lengthy investigation report, the privacy commissioner revealed that two security guards in a …

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Big Brother

I may be missing something here...

How do hidden cameras in the staff changing room help to catch or deter trespassers distributing “promotional materials" in the car park ?

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Holmes

Re: I may be missing something here...

The cameras were not in the changing room.

RTFA: "claim they were not spying on employees by mounting a camera outside a changing room at a housing estate, and that it was to pick up trespassers in the car park"

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Anonymous Coward

Can't put spy cams in changing rooms?

That'll be the end of loads of perv sites that will

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Pedant Alert!

Where does it say that the camera was IN the changing rooms? The article does say that the pair lingered in the changing room for too long. I suspect that if the camera were in the changing room itself we would know more about why they lingered in there and what they were doing. The camera is probably outside of the changing room observing the entrance. It sounds a bit odd that the changing room door would be in the same place as the car park, but not impossible just improbable.

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Joke

Re: Pedant Alert!

For some reason I keep misreading 'lingered' as something to do with lingerie. It conjures up a disturbing image.

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Its Hong Kong

And HK bosses are completely mistrustful of their employees.

It is why self service check outs will never catch on in China as bosses are so mistrustful.

TBH such things are pretty normal, you go walk through some halls in the Chungking Mansions and there are huge forrests of cameras everywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Its Hong Kong

Why do you think UK is any different?

During my tenure as an IT person in a UK company I have been ordered more than once to provide the C**t OO with CCTV access so he can spy on his staff if they are cheating filling in timesheets. This was on salaried staff for whom timesheet was formality by the way, not contractors.

When I refused I had my arm twisted by my boss at the time to comply and provide the person with access.

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Re: Its Hong Kong

Like anywhere, relations between staff and bosses will vary. HK is generally a very good working environment. People who have trouble with it will generally have problems anywhere.

The real news here is that data protection is alive and well in HK. It's a pain in the arse complying with the rules, but so long as privacy cuts both ways I don't mind too much.

Nowhere is perfect. Working in Blighty does my head in. Too much red tape. Nothing wrong with the people I have worked with there.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Its Hong Kong

Yeah, but those camera are OK because they aren't hidden, right?

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Coat

Re: Re: Its Hong Kong

Sure, data protection is alive and well in HK, after all, the cameras have been removed.

What? No, the company wasn't punished, and the workers weren't reinstated or compensated.

The Privacy Commissioner didn't even issue an "Enforcement Notice", meaning, "do it again and you could be prosecuted", so the company could even install new cameras, do it again, and have no punishment!

Data Protection is alive and well, but needs teeth, and the determination to use them.

Yep, the one with the high collar and dark glasses.

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Mushroom

Never mind HongKong. Wot about the bogs in UK pubs?

I've noticed pubs here in Blightly putting spy cams in the mens bogs.

Ten years ago, you wouldn't have believed it would you?

....and before you ask, when one of us comes back from a scoot and gives a positive perv-cam report, we make a point of drinking elsewhere. (Not that the teenaged bar staff GAF about what we do)

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Re: Never mind HongKong. Wot about the bogs in UK pubs?

Name and shame?

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Anonymous Coward

toiletcams ten years ago

I saw CCTV in toilets more than ten years ago (I think) in the UK. It was in the men's toilets in a shopping centre somewhere between Victoria train station and Victoria coach station in London. It was probably East of Buckingham Palace Rd, North of Eccleston St, on the first floor, behind some fast food place. They were ahead of their time, obviously. Is the cam still there?

There was no one else around at the time and I didn't do anything on camera that the security people watching the screens couldn't have expected ...

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Silver badge

Aaah, come on,

no cameras in the changing room? Next they'll forbid peepholes. That'll completely destroy our brave new world.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow

China has a better privacy policy than the U.S.! Oh wait, that's not hard...

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Big Brother

UK Law

It's illegal to put camera anywhere where there is a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the UK. In other words, toilets, showers, changing cubicles etc. are all place where you can't put a camera for any reason. Any place that does so is in breach of the privacy laws we have in the UK.

However, you CAN put a camera just about anywhere else you like, without a permit, for any reason. So, if you wanted to film your employees going about their daily work, and discipline them if they do something you don't like, you CAN (providing the disciplinary is within the employment law guidelines).

So, to clarify, in the UK it would be PERFECTLY LEGAL AND ACCEPTABLE to put cameras outside a changing room (or anywhere else in the workplace, such as over a till, let's say) and then discipline the guards for not performing their duties. You would have no case to answer here, and the guards wouldn't have had much in the way of legal recourse.

Yeah, sucks to be the UK; the most monitored country in the world, bar none. China beats us on liberties yet again.

(Caveat: I am not a China fan and believe that we should do better here in the UK).

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Re: UK Law

Forgot to include a citation for my statement...

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_money/employment_index_ew/monitoring_at_work.htm

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