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    UK Public Privacy Endangered by Mass Surveillance - Government Watchdog

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    With the UK public's privacy at risk due to developing surveillance technologies, efforts to alert the public of their impact on citizens' human rights need to be made, government's surveillance watchdog, Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter said on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to estimates from 2013, there were between 4 and 6 million CCTV cameras in the UK. This figure does not include automatic number plate recognition, body worn video, vehicle borne cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles. Meanwhile, 86 percent of those surveyed in 2014 supported the use of CCTV in public spaces.

    "The core issue remains – how does society effectively balance the need for security against the rights to privacy?… The public need to understand the capability of these cameras and understand their developing technological sophistication – how can society provide informed consent to the use of public space surveillance if they don't understand what it is capable of doing," Porter was quoted as saying in the newly published national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales.

    The strategy notes that "as the way devices are used changes such as increased use of automatic facial recognition and body worn video they may become more intrusive." As such, it is the government's responsibility to ensure transparency and regulate surveillance in a way that observe citizens' rights to privacy.

    European countries have been tightening their security measures in light of the occurrence of a series of terrorist attacks, including those attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015 and in Berlin on December 19, 2016 claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group outlawed in Russia and multiple other states.

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    mass surveillance, surveillance, United Kingdom
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