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Revealed: UK councils shrug at privacy worries, strap on body cams

Who's in charge?

Because they consider themselves to be "Authorities", rather than Councils to be voted in (and out) by citizens, Councils seem to believe they can do whatever they wish.

Note that the article switches cheerfully between those same descriptions.

Do we vote for Authorities? Since when?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who's in charge?

Its just the same with councils as the government, no accountability and no care about the voter.

The question is why

And the answer I am afraid is the lazy pathetic British themselves.

I know people that have voted for particular PARTIES not representatives all their lives on the grounds of 'my dad did', or statistical lies (lower taxes etc), and even because of headlines in 'The Sun' which were easily shown wrong (remember the minimum wage?) or for reasons of 'nice smiles' or 'bad suits'., People need to learn to read and inform themselves better, to dig behind the headlines (and especially not to trust the BBC and its habitual reprints of government propaganda). Unfortunately the education system such as it is these days discourages such thinking, in fact I suspect that critical thinking and investigation is one of the reasons for the killing of science in schools and work (a problem that now haunts us with ever less reliable, ever slower and ever more bloated software as the skills needed to think a solution out that doesn't involve gigabytes of code has long since left us).

Then on top of their voting patterns (the ones that lead to safe seats and other stupidities) there is the fact that they are so lazy they never protest anymore, no more fuel driver strikes, no more protests against tax hikes, no protest against spending billions on Spanish tanks, German police cars, foreign trains and track for HS2, giving billions to India so IT can maintain a space program, nuclear program massive navy and army that WE cant afford!

Finally of course there is the inability of the British to work together. So the boss gives everyone a pay cut and takes a 30% pay increase? Anyone going to get together to deal with it? Not a chance, work WITH my colleagues to make my job better? Nope, no one does such an old fashioned communist thing any more. (similar applies to the old fashioned concept of having a community and getting to know your neighbours).

It is OUR fault.

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Facepalm

Re: Who's in charge?

It's a good thing the BBC have several channels, otherwise I don't know how they'd manage to pump out all their lefty-liberal propaganda, whilst still having time for all the right-wing disinformation they need to fit in. The establishment isn't going to denounce itself you know, not when it's busy using the Beeb as it's mouthpiece and being satirised at the same time.

Would anyone who feels that the BBC is being sufficiently biased towards them please stand up, because you must be the most boring sod in the entire UK.

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WTF?

Re: Who's in charge?

This'd be the same lefty BBC that invites Nigel rhymes with garage to every single politics show?

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Re: Who's in charge?

They have no choice, it's in their charter that they must have opposing views in most shows. It's the same on radio 4 (which I listen to far more than I watch TV), you'll usually find someone from the opposite side of the argument even if they're a numpty that even the presenter clearly dislikes.

The BBC are left leaning, it's pretty obvious to anyone taking an impartial look at them - and I'm left leaning myself, just not someone who's loyal to any political party or the BBC.

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Monitoring

Cameras to monitor recycling?

Biggest problem with recycling is councils trying to fob too much decision making onto the user.

Play the plastics lottery.. is this plastic accepted by council for recycling or should it go as general waste?

I'm sure only a vanishingly small percentage CBA to learn exactly what plastic types are recyclable by their council (and can 100% identify the appropriate plastics in cases where there is no ID symbol on the plastic)

Most people encounter the, not sure o this I'll (toss coin) recycle it / chuck it in normal rubbish.

If councils just accepted all plastics (and then later filter out at processing any types that could not be handled) then it would be lots easier, your average person is not an export on the intricacies of waste types / packaging, and nor should they need to be.

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Re: Monitoring

All my plastics go in the recycling bin. As my council only picks up a relatively small general waste bin every fortnight now ( with no extra bags ), I don't really have a great deal of choice.

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Re: plastics

"(and then later filter out at processing any types that could not be handled)"

I assumed thats what they did because they are always going to get stuff put in by idiots . stuff that isnt even plastic.

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Re: plastics

I assumed thats what they did because they are always going to get stuff put in by idiots . stuff that isnt even plastic.

Why "idiots"? I pay the local council taxes, its their job to get rid of my waste. Why should I have to sort it all out into loads of different categories, and know every tin-pot rule for sorting different materials?

As it happens, my local council does single bin mixed recycling, and they use machinery to sort metals, glass, paper and plastics, and all the plastics get sorted by an infrared analyser. Everything that doesn't get graded as metal, glass, paper, or pass into accepted types of plastic goes to landfill. And there's an alternate week collection for dirty and putrescible waste. Works well enough.

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Re: Monitoring

Re using cameras to gain evidence for issuing fines - can this really be cost-effective?

When one considers not just the cost of the cameras and the supporting infrastructure (the storage, the systems for storing & retrieval and the maintenance overhead for those systems) but also the man-hours of local government personnel using the system to view and then act upon what they've seen I find it very difficult to see how this could possibly result in a net income/saving.

If this scheme is not generating a net income/saving then one has to question the motives behind it.

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Re: Monitoring

It doesn't help that different councils have different rules. For instance, Chelmsford are positively liberal, just no hard plastics, no foam; Havering on the other hand, well it needs a book of rules and a degree in chemistry.

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Big Brother

Re: Monitoring

As for the Recycling Centres.... The council cuts the hours they are open and then complains that there is more fly-tipping which costs more than they have saved by cutting the recycling centee hours especially as they put CCTV cameras in the fly-tipping hot spots.

Left hand, there is a right hand around there somewhere I suggest that you meet it and get to know it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: plastics

Except an ex-neighbour of mine used to put semi-eaten tins of baked beans in the recycling.

Gross.

I agree, the melting point of the smelting process will evaporate the organic content, but, REALLY?

Same about half-filled jars with brine from things like olives, bottles of beer with an half an inch of liquid at the bottom, etc.

Some people are just f-ing lazy.

But 100% agree about the plastics and sorting.

Around where I live there used to be a joke if your recycling isn't sorted according to feng shui the council workers refuse to take it.

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Re: plastics

Our council refuse operators sort unsuitable plastic at the road side and leave it on the pavement to blow away. Now they are going to charge extra for garden waste too.

It is an immutable law of local councils/authorities that the more you pay the worse the service gets.

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Re: Monitoring

"Play the plastics lottery.. is this plastic accepted by council for recycling or should it go as general waste?"

plastics are one thing, but I had my recycling bags left on the pavement and a fine issued because I had put the *wrong type of CARDBOARD* in one. Apparently, they don't like it if you shred cardboard for them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Monitoring

I had my recycling bags left on the pavement and a fine issued because I had put the *wrong type of CARDBOARD* in one.

Fight back against the bin police, making sure their cursory inspection won't uncover your righteous rebellion. Emery cloth hidden in newspapers, pyrex at the bottom of the bottles, tubes of silicone in the plastic, full cans of expanding foam in the tins....

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Re: Monitoring

"If councils just accepted all plastics"

They may as well. Because of paper contamination (labels) The only economic recycling path for them is to be blown into fibres and used as insulation.

Every other recycling option uses more oil than simply burning them as fuel and making new plastic from virgin oil

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Big Brother

How long until the general public follow suit?

Indeed, a number of cyclists, drivers and bouncers already have. I'm fairly sure there was a Black Mirror episode about all this...

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Big Brother

Big Brother is knocking on the door ...

I note the last paragraph which says non-evidential footage will be deleted after 31 days ... Is this in the similar vein of the recent Reg story of keeping police mugshots even if innocent?

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/25/custody_images_review/

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Unhappy

Councils and the public

Of 227 snooping local authorities, only a third cared how it any of their policies might affect the public.

FTFW

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Paris Hilton

Re: Councils and the public

the article didnt actually say how this might affect the public - does that go without saying?

the article suggests that filming somebody dropping litter is a bad thing.

Coujd someone explain how?

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Re: Councils and the public

the article suggests that filming somebody dropping litter is a bad thing. Coujd someone explain how?

There's a concept called "proportionality" that appears to have passed you by. Of course, if you've genuinely NOTHING to hide in any aspect of your life, and you don't mind that lack of guilt being continuously checked and recorded, then maybe we should have more recording.

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Can't say I'm all that surprised. My experience with Tameside Council was that they had absolutely no privacy or data retention audit policies whatsoever - or never enforced them - which resulted in one of their departments casually retaining someone's bank statements for several months, before handing them over to me in an entirely unrelated information request.

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Well I think....

They just go back to the station at shift end and pretend to do a bit overtime on paperwork, DL the footage and look at the boobs and bums they've filmed that day.

Not completely off topic! If you like aircraft, remember this one?

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/cameraman-filming-low-flying-planes-11250076

Gets a surprise, love the way the props seem to be moving so slow and he didn't film her for very long, must be a gent.

I have thought on this subject and my dashcam has recorded children crossing the road, I mean where do you stand? It's set up for a new record over unless I have an accident, IDK.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well I think....

You sir are in the view of some a Paedo because you have video of the kiddies in your posession.

I'm sure that PLOD will be very interested in why you took it when they haul you in for interrogation and waterboarding.

Posting AC because I have a helmet cam for when I'm on my bike. Only the other day I was almost taken out by some idiot in a tin-can who was fiddilng with his dash cam whilst moving.

That wasn't you by any chance?

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Coat

Re: Well I think....

> You sir are in the view of some a Paedo because you have video of the kiddies in your posession.

And if he was driving fast at the time the dashcam recorded these children he'd be a spaedo.

(Coat. Me. Leaving now.)

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Re: Well I think....

Probably making sure that he had recorded _your_ bad behaviour.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe some

Can't speak for anyone else but we did a fair bit of work including a PIA before we allowed the use of bodyworn cameras. the PIA was refreshed recently with a change in technology and we insisted on changes to the proposed method of working. i.e. We've forced the cameras to be used in such a manner that no data is retained unless the operator hits a button. A bit like dashcams in cars these cameras so record in a loop continuously but when something kicks off the operator can hit a button and the previous minute is retained then until the incident finishes.

What I would suspect happened in many places is what happened here, that is, the services that want cameras go out an buy them without asking anyone or telling anyone then get caught red handed trying to get them installed reported to the DPO who then has to spend months sorting out the legalities all whilst the service that was wrong in the first place drags it's heels kicking and screaming because they've been shown up and can't use their new toys exactly how they want to.

So those that have them in without policies or PIA managed to sneak them in without telling anyone and have now been caught via FOI. Expect a massive scrabbling for retrospective PIAs

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Re: Maybe some

" A bit like dashcams in cars these cameras so record in a loop continuously "

Speak for yourself.

My dashcams upload everything recorded to youtube when they connect to a known Wifi Network.

As with encryption, there are 2 approaches to data slurpers:

1: Limit what they get (but that means they only get the important stuff)

2: DROWN THEM.

(The rule of encryption is that once you start encrypting your messages or data, ENCRYPT EVERYTHING, including your laundry lists. That way an attacker may spend most of his time decrypting your stuff to find you needed to wash 4 pairs of socks. For more fun, make the laundry list a stronger cypher than the others so they think it's more valuable)

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What if I object?

Hmmm... I'm not an expert on the Data Protection Act and so I'd welcome an opinion from somebody who is, but I'd like to know how this is legal if I object to being filmed.

I believe that video of me in which I can be identified is considered to be "personal data" within the meaning of the Data Protection Act (and the General Data Protection Regulation). In order to collect my personal data you must (a) inform me that you're going to do so, (b) inform me of the purposes for which you're gathering it and (c) obtain my consent to process it.

So if I decline to give my consent how is it legal for you to film me?

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Re: What if I object?

"So if I decline to give my consent how is it legal for you to film me?"

Completely legal, you have absolutely no say in the matter. In public, you have 'no reasonable expectation of privacy', so you may be filmed by councils, individuals, TV companies etc. There are restrictions on the publication of images and videos taken in public, your image cannot be used for promotional purposes without your consent, and minors have some protection from identification, etc, but you cannot stop people from filming you. You might not like it, but as the law stands, you kind of have to lump it.

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Re: What if I object?

Worth adding (cos lot's of people miss this), CCTV type recordings are also largely exempt from subject matter requests.

So you don't get to say "I was in your office on the 23rd, please provide a copy of all footage that includes me"

Partly because of the work involved in finding it, and partly because it will almost certainly include others.

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Childcatcher

Re: What if I object?

"Completely legal, you have absolutely no say in the matter. In public, you have 'no reasonable expectation of privacy'..."

If anyone voluntarily breaks the law, filmed footage should be permissible in evidence regardless of the age of the criminal. So no more of this bull excrement about people not being allowed to film the neighbourhood "youth" who get away with vandalising other people's property while the victim feels the tug from PC Copper for filming the little scrotes without their parents' permission...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What if I object?

Not strictly true.

For a subject access request to be valid you have to provide sufficient details to allow the data controller (DC) to identify the relevant personal data so any request for 'all of may data' regardless of media/format can be refused.

Just saying a specific date isn't enough as those cameras could be running 24/7 so a time frame would be a reasonable clarification from the dc.

Also when providing the data a permanent copy doesn't have to be provided if it would require disproportionate effort to provide it but the dc would still be required to allow the requestor to view the footage.

When it comes to the images of 3rd parties most councils in my experience just blur faces (although there is a technical DP argument that the images aren't personal data if the council and the requestor don't have sufficient information to identify the individual).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What if I object?

Worth adding (cos lot's of people miss this), CCTV type recordings are also largely exempt from subject matter requests.

^^ Not entirely true, we will supply them if people can give a reasonable timeframe e.g. 10am - 10:30am and if there are others we'll redact (blur out) their faces.

It partly depends on WHY you need it but if you need it to prove you were somewhere and the police ask for it then they'll get it, if YOU need it (subject access) then you'd still get it but we'd be looking for a damn good reason to spend our time editing the footage. Only the police will get it under section 29 if they can also provide a good reason/time frame and description of the person(s) they are interested in. Otherwise we tell them to sod off.

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Re: What if I object?

"f anyone voluntarily breaks the law, filmed footage should be permissible in evidence regardless of the age of the criminal. "

It would be permissible, the publication limitations are about identifying minors to the general populace. Using video footage in court with reporting restrictions in place wouldn't be an issue, the identities of the suspects would be protected until they are sentenced, only then would their images get released to the press. I followed a relevant case recently, turns out my wife and I crossed paths with a young chap that went on to murder someone later that night. We recognised him from his description, and spoke to the Police about where he might have been caught on CCTV. It wasn't until sentencing when the pictures were released to the public, and we were sure we had identified the suspect.

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Re: What if I object?

"So if I decline to give my consent how is it legal for you to film me?"

Until the recording is published, you can't do anything.

Your right when a recording IS published, is limited to private legal action and you'd need to prove a case of actual damage under DPA rules (the argument would be that you were going about your private _lawful_ business and publication would prove detrimental.)

The same thing goes the other way. M. Jobsworth WasteofSpace has a very hard time stopping you filming them (even if you film on private property(*) the only recourse they have is to ask you to leave. Attempting to stop you filming may result in them facing assault charges) and an even harder job establishing a legal case against you for publishing them working in an official capacity as a govt employee (at any level of govt)

(*) There are exceptions but they're rigidly laid down in law. Filming in a court building or on certain nuclear/military sites or certain military personnel is a criminal offence - the former because of journalist ambushes in the waiting areas about a century ago and the latter two for obvious reasons.

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Re: What if I object?

yes, PC Copper tried pulling this on my neighbours and myself.

He didn't get away with it and the local police were forced to issue written apologies to everyone.

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Re: What if I object?

"Only the police will get it under section 29 if they can also provide a good reason/time frame and description of the person(s) they are interested in."

Exactly. I've had requests for 4 hour windows and declined for exactly this reason.

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I wonder if holding up pieces of paper with credit card details on, would the videos have to comply with PCI and financial regulations?

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Sponsorship opportunities - eventually people are going to walk around looking like F1 drivers

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It isn't just the councils, it is endemic in the public sector. For instance why is it necessary to record so many traffic movements at so many locations? Hell, they might be speeding or they might use the Dartford crossing without paying. But mustn't grumble, could be worse, the bbc could demand they film me at home, just to make sure I'm not watching live tv without a licence.

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Presumably you would just charge the BBC a license fee for doing so ?

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" For instance why is it necessary to record so many traffic movements at so many locations? "

Statistical analysis of traffic flows in order to plan systems.

Such systems work best if individual cars can be identified to work out longer distance flow patterns (EG are cars taking the left or right route around an obstacle and are they rejoining the through flow afterwards or do they branch off to local destinations and as such need to be discounted from the calculations when you're trying to encourage through traffic not to take particular routes up rat runs) but as soon as they purpose has been achieved the identifying data should be purged. This period could be as short as 5 minutes.

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FAIL

Public consultation

The organisation has recommended that a well-publicised public consultation take place before body-worn cameras are considered by councils, and that a trial should take place before body-worn cameras are used on a permanent basis.

As if that will make any difference. Every council office is equipped with a special circular receptacle for processing the results of public consultations.

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Flame

How much per camera???

£1.8M, 3760-odd cameras, £480 per camera! WTF???

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Re: How much per camera???

I thought Councils were perpetually agonising about not having enough money, and had to cut services as a result.

Now, perhaps, we know why they haven't got enough money.

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Re: How much per camera???

Cameras will be a few hundred each. But you've also got software licenses, management servers, installation fees, maintenance contracts. In fact the cameras might not b much at all it's everything else that adds up.

A standard laptop here costs about £200 for a mid range i5 type device. The licences for it might cost £500 for a bog standard user and lots more for specialists. That's why Microsoft and other software houses are multi billion dollar companies.

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Devil

Re: How much per camera???

You can buy an one off bottom of the barrel Gopro for £150.

Not including volume discounts.

Nor cheaper not so 'hip' make.

At best - £70 per non-Gopro.

£410 per back-end system and licensing?

Also supports and ongoing licensing will be Opex and not Capex.

Clearly the article does not clarify if this is either, but gut feeling is this is Capex.

For the remaining 1,541,600 (after the cameras are bought) you can build some great archival and retrieval system, AWS (S3 and Glacier) or in house with the Hypervisor of your choice.

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