Wednesday, 20 April 2016

CCTV images of illegal dumpers raise privacy concer

CCTV images of illegal dumpers raise privacy concerns

Tue, Apr 12, 2016, 01:00 Updated: Tue, Apr 12, 2016, 08:41

The Data Protection Commissioner has contacted Dublin City Council over its use of images of people captured on CCTV illegally dumping household waste.
The council last week erected a poster in a litter blackspot in the north inner city, showing 12 people caught on CCTV dumping rubbish on the street.
The faces are slightly blurred, due to the quality of the CCTV footage, but they would be able to identify themselves, as most likely would their neighbours, the council said.
The poster has been bolted to a wall behind a Perspex shield at Frankfort Cottages, near the Five Lamps, one of the city’s worst areas for illegal dumping. CCTV cameras were installed a number of weeks ago and they had some effect in reducing dumping.
However, within a day of the poster going up last week, the street was clear.
“It was remarkable. For the last 10 years we’ve had signage there warning people not to illegally dump, but every day we would have to clear up bags, and sofas and other furniture, and even builders’ rubble, but this poster has made such a difference,” said John McPartlan, public domain officer with the council.

Rights to privacy

However, yesterday morning the commissioner’s office contacted the council.
“Officials from this office have contacted the DCC in relation to the publication of CCTV stills.
“It should be pointed out that the processing of personal data must be done fairly, demonstrate proportionality and not be overly prejudicial to the fundamental right of the individual to data privacy.”
Mr McPartlan said he would be responding to the commissioner this week.
“We have to make a case that our use of the images is proportionate response to the issue, and our view is that it is, because illegal dumping leaves the city in a terrible mess.”
He added the council had published no names and no personal information.
The poster shows people dumping refuse sacks and smaller supermarket bags, as well as a woman dumping a suitcase and two young men dumping a sofa.

Litter blackspot

The council has been making concerted efforts to clean up the north inner city, but the area has languished near the bottom of the Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal) national survey, although it recently moved up from 39th to 37th most littered urban area.
The council in December 2013 announced a “blitz” on dumping black spots in the city where residents leave their rubbish in the streets instead of paying for waste collection.
It established a north inner city litter action group which has gone door to door asking people to provide proof they are disposing of their waste legally, and has had some success in persuading households to sign up to pay to have their bins collected.
However, no measure has had the instant effect of the poster. Local Independent councillor Nial Ring said he and other local councillors “fully endorsed” the measure.
“This is the nearest we can get to a name and shame policy. I would recommend that we get more CCTV cameras and put up more posters because it has got results.

“We don’t want to be in the Ibal relegation zone, we want to be the LeicesterCity of the litter league.”

European Parliament passes tougher data protection laws

Irish Times Apr 14, 2016
The European Parliament has voted through tougher rules on data protection, aimed at boosting privacy and giving authorities greater powers to take action against companies that breach the rules.
The rules, including the much-needed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), were four years in the making and form the new backbone of laws for data regulators to pursue companies with heavy fines - as much as 4 per cent of annual turnover for global companies - for incidents such as data breaches, which have become increasingly common.
Viviane Reding, MEP and former vice-president of the European Commissionwho proposed the changes in 2012, said: “This is a historic day for Europe. This reform will restore trust in digital services today, thereby reigniting the engine for growth tomorrow.
“There can be no freedom without security, and no security without freedom. Today’s concomitant adoption of these three legislations sends a strong signal that national security and data protection can and must go hand in hand.”
National rules

The new data privacy laws comprise of the GDPR, which governs the use and privacy of EU citizens’ data, and the Data Protection Directive, which governs the use of EU citizens’ data by law enforcement.
Together they aim to create strong data protection law for Europe’s 500 million citizens; streamline legislation between the 28 member states pushing a digital single market and boost police and security cooperation. It is due to replace the outdated patchwork of national rules that have only allowed for small fines in cases of violation.
The new laws have already proved controversial with companies wishing to operate with EU citizens’ data, placing an administrative burden on some, including those based outside of Europe.
The next step in strengthening of data regulation across the EU is an overhaul of the ePrivacy Directive, which will now commence in earnest, to bring it inline with the changes laid out in the GDPR.

Passenger name data

The European Parliament also voted through the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR), which aims to aid law enforcement in tracking people’s movement across Europe.
EC’s first vice-president Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova, said: “These new rules come at a time when improved cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime is more necessary than ever, as shown by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.”
Ms Reding added: “Faced with the transnational nature of the digital revolution and the fight against terror, EU-wide rules are the only solution to our problems.
“PNR is an important tool to track terrorists flying in and out of Europe in a much wider toolkit, which should also include the systematic sharing of information in all EU databases.”