DIO’s illegal camera is filming you

Following on from my video regarding the DIO’s illegal camera, I wanted to clarify the situation. If you walk the perimeter path round by the south west corner, the bit that comes very close to the canal, you can see just over the fence the DIO’s main workshop for the ranges.

The picture to the right shows the camera circled in red. This camera points across and over the fence filming anyone who walks past on the outside of the perimiter fence. The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) legislates the use of CCTV cameras. This clearly states that the operator (in this case DIO) “must let people know when they are in an area where a surveillance stystem is in operation.” There should be clear signage which should:

  • be clearly visible and readable;
  • contain details of the organisation operating the system, the purpose for using the surveillance system and who to contact about the scheme (where these things are not obvious to those being monitored);
  • include basic contact details such as a simple website address telephone number or email contact
  • be an appropriate size depending on context. For example, whether they are viewed by pedestrians or car drivers.

There are no signs on display whatsoever. This means that you are not warned you are going to be recorded and thus not able to make an informed decision as to whether you continue forwards and allow yourself to be recorded or not.

This is a clear breach of data protection law, a law which was significantly enhanced in May 2018 as part of the introduction of GDPR. This gives individuals much greater control over their own data. Under the DPA any images or video that is captured is considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of the individual concerned. Therefore if you have walked by this camera then the DIO hold personally identifiable information about yourself WITHOUT your prior consent.

Under DPA you have the right to request a copy of every image and recording of yourself that the camera has captured by making a Subject Access Request. On Thursday I emailed the data protection officer for the MoD to report that their camera was illegal and to request the camera is removed and for copies of all images and recordings of myself. Under UK law they have to provide the images and recordings.

If you have walked past that camera I urge you to request the same.

Makin a subject access request is easy, you can do it via email to the MoD’s Data protection officer:

  • To: CIO-DPA@mod.gov.uk
  • CC: michael.gove.mp@parliament.uk, wallaceb@parliament.uk
  • Subject: Unlawful use of a CCTV camera at Ash Ranges

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you to complain about the unlawful collection of video images by a CCTV camera at Ash Ranges. The camera is posted up high on the wall of the main workshop but it is pointed at an area that also covers part of an area outside of the ranges on a public footpath. There are no warning signs that CCTV is in use and no signs about who to contact, i.e. who is responsible for the camera.

My not warning that CCTV is in use you are not giving people the option to hide their face or not be recorded. This breached my rights to chose not to go into the area so as to avoid being filmed. All CCTV cameras in public must be registered and have clear signage. There is no clear signage in this case.

I would like the camera removed as soon as possible. In line with data protection legislation I would like a copy of my own personal data from any footage captured by this camera. Data Protection legislation considers recognisable recordings and images capture by CCTV system as “personal Data”.

I look forward to your swift action and response.”