3 Dec 2014

CCTV camera protocols to be probed

1:02 pm on 3 December 2014

The Privacy Commissioner is looking into surveying local councils on how they use and store CCTV footage, after it was revealed some Hutt City Council cameras can look into private homes.

The Council last year commissioned a report into its 29 CCTV cameras by the company Security Risk Management, which has questioned the legality of street surveillance systems under the Privacy Act and the Bill of Rights.

The report found at least five cameras could undertake surveillance inside private houses.

It said the system also had a generic login, allowing anyone to access live or recorded images in the Lower Hutt police station where the footage was monitored

Council general manger of community services Matt Reid said the issue was fixed immediately following the report, which was submitted in January.

"When the camera swivels, and is in the direction of a residential address, it just simply blacks out, so it's now not physically possible to view those residences."

Mr Reid said the footage was monitored by vetted, trained professionals, so he was confident no homes had been spied on.

He said residents affected were not informed because the council believed their privacy had not been breached.

The Privacy Commissioner's office said plans for the survey was still in its early stages.

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