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back to article CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

The government must take action to ensure that signs used to warn motorists that CCTV cameras are being used to monitor for parking offences are compliant with UK data protection laws, a watchdog has said. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that there are "deficiencies" in the information displayed to motorists on …

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What about those authorities usine mobile parking "enforcement" cameras? I've never seen any signs warning of their use at all. Surely that means the authorities concerned are not only breaking the DPA but ignoring it altogether. The fine for that should be enormous.

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@Grease Monkey Re: mobile parking "enforcement" cameras

I have seen such signs, but I think you're pissing in the wind. If agencies enforcing laws had a backbone, then they would already be fining the mobile parking "enforcement" cameras for parking illegally.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Grease Monkey mobile parking "enforcement" cameras

they would already be fining the mobile parking "enforcement" cameras for parking illegally.

If I could get a DfT London license to fine parking companies for parking illegally I could turn quite a decent profit. They are not exempt from those laws, but behave like they are.

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Re: @Grease Monkey mobile parking "enforcement" cameras

I did here of one case where a the driver of a mobile enforcement van was ticketed, but only after a member of the public photographed the van and complained. However the problem is that the enforcement vans never film themselves.

My question is why would a mobile enforcement would need to park.

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Big Brother

1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

European governments will only rest when everyone's riding a bike to work.

Meanwhile, town centre shops wonder why shoppers prefer to shop online or in retail parks.

The shops can't pay their rates and go out of business...

So local government must find other revenue streams...

So they increase parking charges and issue tickets more aggressively...

So motorists stop going to town...

What's wrong with this picture?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

Motorists stopped driving into town years before the crack-down on parking started. When we drive to the shops we don't faff about on the High street we go straight to a supermarket where everything is in one place and we don't have ot worry about our kids running ito the road.

If people are genuinely interested in revitalising High Streets they should look at places such as Horsham and Lewis, where the local authorities have limited vehicle access during the day and made it a pleasant place to be on a Saturday afternoon.

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

If people are genuinely interested in revitalising High Streets they should look at places such as Horsham and Lewis, where the local authorities have limited vehicle access during the day and made it a pleasant place to be on a Saturday afternoon

If by "people", you mean local government, you've proved my point with your comment - they don't want cars in towns.

If local government was genuinely interested in revitalising High Streets they'd stop making it so difficult for town centre businesses to earn a crust.

Nothing says "this town is a shithole" like ten boarded-up shops in a row...

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

Nothing says "this town is a shithole" like ten boarded-up shops in a row...

Shop vacancy rate lowest for four years, research suggests

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

From your link:

However, there are still more than 50,000 empty shops in town centres.

The North West is the worst hit with more than 17% of shops empty - more than double the percentage in London.

The data also shows the increasing impact of large shopping centres and retail parks and their dominance of the retail landscape.

Analysis of the 12 biggest shopping centres found most of the surrounding weaker towns and High Streets continue to decline, raising questions over their future direction and viability.

Which part of the above am I supposed to take comfort in?

To sum that report up: if you're trading in or around that there London, things aren't too bad. Otherwise things are pretty shit...

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

The decline of the High Street owes more to changing shopping habits, specifically late night shopping and Sunday opening, than the lack of somewhere to park.

The High Street is a local facility, one that most of its users walk to. If the locals cannot be bothered to walk the couple of hundered yards to the shops and back they are not going to jump into their cars and go there.

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

"Shop vacancy rate lowest for four years, research suggests"

But what's the betting that most of those newly occupied shops are now pound shops or bookies. Wonderful.

Or maybe Douglas Adams was right, and they're all shoe shops...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

I went to town a couple of evenings ago. Because Sainsbury's, the only place within walking distance likely to have what I wanted, didn't. That was 6pm. All that was open in town was Tesco (and Sainsbury's Metro?), some restaurants and...no.that's about it. Even Starbucks and Costa were shut! It's taken a few years but I finally decided I need to move back to London.

However, the reason above all I mostly shop online, apart from better prices and 99% of the time rapid delivery, is the crappy range in High St. shops. Internet shopping was liberation. And the same applies to when supermarkets began to displace the High St. I don't know what the solution is, but it isn't choosing to shop where you only really used to because you didn't have much, if any, choice.

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

"we don't have ot worry about our kids running ito the road" your kidding right? supermarket car parks are the most dangerous places in the world.

And what is it about when you park as far away from the supermarket as possible, empty parking spaces all around, with absolutely no cars parked any where near your parking space, to avoid the most dangerous drivers in the world hitting your car, when you get back even ten minutes later there are bloody cars(badly) parked all around you but the car park is still less than half full!

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

The decline of the High Street owes more to changing shopping habits, specifically late night shopping and Sunday opening, than the lack of somewhere to park.

I don't agree with you, sorry. The report somebody else linked to earlier is saying that towns are dying thanks to retail parks and mega shopping centres. Maybe you know more about retail than the people who wrote the report?

The High Street is a local facility, one that most of its users walk to. If the locals cannot be bothered to walk the couple of hundered yards to the shops and back they are not going to jump into their cars and go there.

You're thinking of some kind of fancy pedestrianised High Street that doubles as a farmer's market a few mornings a week...

In a lot of small towns, the one available supermarket is on the High Street. You telling me it's feasible for someone to carry their weekly shop home on foot? Or if I want to support local business and buy a new telly from the guy I went to school with, I should haul it home on the bus?

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

@Salts

I'd love to see a study done on that. Had a lengthy discussion with a work colleague about it way back. I was of the opinion it was a subconscious clumping/herd instinct whilst he thought it was because most people can't park properly without lining up against something. In retrospect I think we're both right.

After all, just look at the haphazard mess when there's some snow on the ground.

<rant>

Why on earth will people elect to park near a long wheelbase van miles from the supermarket entrance but they do. You can't reverse it out because you're doing it blind so it's into the forward spot. Come back to find you can't get the rear doors open - some fool has nosed up to the back. Pair of cars either side. If you're lucky you can squeeze the trolley down to the side door but chances are the gap is too narrow. There'll be a slope so you need your partner to stop the trolley wandering off while you traipse back & forth.

</rant>

I nearly got barred from Asda because I took to parking diagonally across six slots. That does work. No-one will park near you.

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

Thank you for agreeing with me, those fancy pedestrianised High Streets with farmers markets etc are doing better than the average. It works because it makes the High Street a desirable place to pass time and spend money

I don't think that the High Street can compete with large supermarkets for the weekly shop, so carrying a week's shopping home is a red herring. Instead the High Street scores on customers making small purchases several times a week.

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

For those of us fortunate to have a car & un/fortunate enough to not live within half a kilometre of the town centre, driving into town to drop the dry cleaning off, visit the butchers and bakery, pick up some flowers for the lady and buy a paper could all be achieved within 30 minutes on a Saturday morning when you could park outside the shops. Now they want you to park and drudge past all the shops you don't want to go to for the few items you wanted. All those shops mentioned above have now gone from my town centre since the parking restrictions, replaced with bargin booze, kebabs and gambling shops.

I personally hate the crowds in the supermarkets and would readily go back to the high streets if i could park free/cheaply and get what i wanted. I've got more interesting outdoor pursuits to do rather than hiking in and out of town.

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

Yes, life must be great for those farmer's market traders. It's a lot easier to break even when you can set up in a different pace every day and not have to pay rent, rates,etc.

Anyway, i haven't agreed with anything you've wrote so far - dunno where you got that idea. Keep throwing stuff out there though, something might stick...

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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

Until about a year ago, I lived in a quiet street in a small town just south of Coventry. It was a delight to be able to walk into town (about 10 minutes pleasant stroll), and choose from several local shops, a Co-op, Waitrose, or Sainbury. Less than five minutes away was a brilliant baker who, though only open 3 mornings a week, always had a shop full of people. There were three or four pleasant pubs in walking distance, and a range of eating places from small independent cafes and restaurants to a Loch Fyne. Parking was available in sensible places that did not interfere with the pedestrian access, and reasonably priced. People *did* walk into town at all times of the day because it was possible and pleasant to do so, and there were reasons to do so. Part of the reason was because the town centre was not far from (and indeed included) residential properties, so the two were part of the same entity.

However, this is definitely unusual in this day and age, and trying to find the same here in Scotland (at least in the bit I'm tied to for now) is almost impossible, and certainly so for the prices we can afford.

My point? It is possible to make town centres pleasant and useable, but the key seems to be integrating living and business properties.

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Potential "Get out of Jail Free" card?

Could it be used as a defence?

"Your signs do not comply with legal requrements, ergo your 'fine' is unenforceable"

Not a lawyer, so would love an informed opinion on that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Potential "Get out of Jail Free" card?

No, it couldn't. The DPA is unrelated to the issuing of a fine for contravention.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Potential "Get out of Jail Free" card?

Whilst I agree with your point about the difference between the DPA and being fined for contravention, surely the issue is that they can not use the data (images from CCTV) to prove you were in contravention because the data is not held legally. They can only fine you by processing the data, but as the signage is incorrect or non-existent, they can not legally process the data and take action (fine someone - in contravention of parking regulations or not) without opening themselves up to my logging a case (pointless, I'm sure) with the ICO for misuse of data and contravention of the DPA.

Or have I got the wrong end of the wrong stick here?

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Re: Potential "Get out of Jail Free" card?

No, but you could then sue them for the contravention and get your money back, probably plus some.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Potential "Get out of Jail Free" card?

"surely the issue is that they can not use the data (images from CCTV) to prove you were in contravention because the data is not held legally"

This wouldn't be possible. The images aren't being held illegally in themselves, it is only the authority's compliance with the DPA that could be deemed illegal. Even so, they are unlikely to be in illegal breach of the DPA even without the information on the sign.

The DPA is very open ended and non-specific. Most of putting the DPA into practice is from 'guidelines' issued by the ICO not by actual case law. Hence why none of these councils are being prosecuted they are just being advised.

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Re: Potential "Get out of Jail Free" card?

I can't find any precedent so it would be an interesting test case were somebody to challenge a parking ticket on the grounds that the data used to bring the prosecution was illegally collected and stored.

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The detail doesn't need to be readable while you drive the car, but something like a web address and a QR code on the sign seems something of a no-brainer. Might not even need to be on the actual sign, surely a durable stick-on marker could be put on the post.

The way the timetable fades at the bus-stop across the road, a similar durable marker letting us get the timetable via a smartphone would be a good idea.

There have been a couple of bus timetable websites which struggled to get timetable updates from local authorities and bus companies, but I doubt they had a contract, they just searched other websites. There's some long-running local roadworks which keep changing location on travelnews websites: it's still the same railway bridge. I wonder whether any system we see set up for information ever gets an adequate maintenance budget. And then there are a myriad of advertising funded sites, with obsolete data, which flood Google searches.

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Anonymous Coward

How do you read a QR code in a car?

Apart from the driver shouldn't be using a phone while in motion, those things are only readable when stationary.

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Re: How do you read a QR code in a car?

Curiously both spellings of stationary/stationery could be correct here!

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Can we have a competition - best new 'Road Safety Camera' sign?

Obviously it'll have to include the county name, logo, sponsors, and lots of small print, along with contact details of the county's data protection office, and details of how to access the information?

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The other issue

The other issue is that it's no good having a sign if there is no reasonable way to look at the sign and opt out which is essential impossible for most of the cases given here. The sign is pointless if you can't say no I don;t agree to this, and have reasonable alternatives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The other issue

There is no requirement for opting out for most parts of the DPA.

It is to ensure that personally identifiable information is stored and used lawfully. However you don't have an automatic opt out right.

You do however have the ability to correct any information which is incorrect or be allowed to see it at any time. If you really wanted to cause issue you could get very large numbers of people to request that they are given access to see the video of them - as long as you give a reasonable amount of information to allow them to find that information (e.g. approximate time, date and identifying details).

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Re: The other issue

IIRC CCTV is one of the exceptions to that right. Unless something has changed, you have no right to request access to the video that includes you.

The justification was a combination of two things, as I recall. One being the difficulty in locating the video, but the real killer was that the video would likely contain others and their 'personally identifiable information' (i.e. their image) would be being leaked to you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The other issue

"IIRC CCTV is one of the exceptions to that right. Unless something has changed, you have no right to request access to the video that includes you."

You remember wrongly. There is and has never been an automatic exception to a Subject Access Request.

The difficulty in locating the video is handled by you giving approximate time and location and something to identify you by. If it is still deemed too difficult to find you without good reason (e.g. data overwritten,disks failed) after that then they would be in breach of the guidelines as they don't have a reasonable reason to store the images if it is not possible to retrieve them on request.

If passing you the images would interfere with the privacy of others then a method would need to be found to protect that individual(s).

An anomaly, you may be surprised at, is that you are not allowed to use low quality cameras that can't record people's faces or similar if you are using them for the prevention and detection of crime (the usual class for CCTV). If the images stored are not suitable for actually being used in evidence for a prosecution then you shouldn't have them there at all , you should be using dummy cameras (or at least not recording).

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Anonymous Coward

So the ICO...

...who seem relatively content to do the grand total of fuck all when some large institution/cpmpany allows thousands of pieces of information to be lost and/or compromised want to crack down on local governments that are already having budgets cut to the bone.

As one comment above said - just print some QR codes and stick them to the signs.

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Pirate

Re: So the ICO...

Yep - it's the latest silver bullet phrase

"Low-hanging fruit"

AKA - always go for the soft targets, the captive market and those who can't fight back.

It's just a bit ironic that the ICO - the single most useless piece of government bureacracy since the ministry of silly walks - is now targetting other bits of the machine which actually have some degree of relevance in the real world.

And I heard a (nasal, whiney) voice in the midst of the four beasts. And I looked, and behold a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Mr Braithwaite, and forms in triplicate followed with him.

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Unhappy

Re: So the ICO...

".. just print some QR codes and stick them to the signs."

My understanding of the way these things work is that if you have parked to read the sign you will have been copped by the camera before you get to read the QR code ....

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Re: So the ICO...

And what exactly makes you think a person should have to own some equipment capable of reading a QR code before they can be made aware of information that has to be legally communicated to them? I know most people own a smartphone...but i didn't think it was actually a requirement for you to function in society!

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Re: So the ICO...

It's just a bit ironic that the ICO - the single most useless piece of government bureacracy since the ministry of silly walks...

How dare you. How very dare you. How... oh dammit. The ministry of silly walks is one of our most respected and valuable institutions.

IT'S

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What about Bus Lane cameras

Do they not fall in to the same category as being generally unsign posted and a waste of tax payers money.

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Re: What about Bus Lane cameras

What about *all* CCTV cameras? If you're recording me, my actions or my movements, even passively, then surely I should have a right to know who you are and what you are doing with my data? Or does this fall under the same "Expectation of Privacy" rules we apply to photographers?

I fear we can't have this both ways....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What about Bus Lane cameras

"...If you're recording me, my actions or my movements, even passively, then surely I should have a right to know who you are and what you are doing with my data?..."

If I write down your movements by following you covertly and taking notes in a notepad with a pen/pencil, you do not have the right to know under the data protection act.

If I film you with an old analogue video recorder on to VHS tape (or similar) you still have no right to know.

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Re: What about Bus Lane cameras

Not quite true it depends on how you store that data, if it is manually indexed it can still fall under the DPA.

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I fear we can't have this both ways....

In regard to video footage or photography not made for personal use why not?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I fear we can't have this both ways....

Any time your camera app is activated on your phone, a big drop down sign is activated showing your name and how to contact you?

And as for retrospectively tagging all those You Tube videos...

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ICO?

What? They're still around?

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Trollface

Re: ICO?

Yeah. Apple haven't sued them yet for their use of an initial letter i.

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The anti-establishmentarians raise their voices in unison...

Idiots!

Please imagine a world in which everyone was allowed to just park wherever they fancied parking. Knowing just how many selfish c***s there are out there, I suspect it would not be long before navigating our roads would become almost impossible.

You try to make out it's about privacy rights, but nobody can have an expectation of privacy in a public street - that's just ridiculous. What you really resent is that you've less chance of getting away with it.

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This is what double yellow or red routes are for...not every other type of parking enforcement, 1 hour no return restrictions etc... all of those are just money makers for an establishment that can not get enough of our money.

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Please imagine a world in which everyone was allowed to just park wherever they fancied parking. Knowing just how many selfish c***s there are out there, I suspect it would not be long before navigating our roads would become almost impossible.

Do you hyperbole much?

Nobody's suggesting that you should be able to park as long as you want, wherever you want.

Idiots!

The pot calls the kettle black...

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Hyperbole

They tried removing all the traffic wardens from Aberystwyth, it did cause chaos and after a year they brought them back.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152638/Aberystwyth-lifts-traffic-warden-ban-time-Jubilee-free-chaos.html

BTW - for any non-UK residents reading, that place name is Welsh, not made up!

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