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restrictions on CCTV in shopping centres
Published: 10 Jul 2009 Author: SCCA Source: Shopping Centre
Council of Australia.
The SCCA has lodged a submission with the Victorian Law Reform
Commission in response to the Commissionís Consultation Paper
Surveillance in Public Places.
The submission focuses on the use of closed circuit television
(CCTV) in shopping centres and highlights its many benefits.
These include finding lost children; identifying bag snatchers
and shoplifters; responding to emergencies; and preventing
fraudulent insurance claims.
The submission also points out that shopping centres are
ultimately private property and, although they allow public
access, they have the right to place conditions on that access.
Often one of those conditions is the presence of CCTV. Given the
many benefits of CCTV, the SCCA is concerned about suggestions
in the Consultation Paper that further controls on CCTV in
public places should be considered.
The Commission has not identified a single factual example of
unacceptable use of CCTV that cannot be addressed under existing
regulation. Nor is there any evidence that the community is
concerned about CCTV.
On the contrary, a 2007 survey by the Federal Privacy
Commissioner found that of the 92% of respondents who were aware
of CCTV, 79% were not concerned about their use in public places
and when asked to nominate where CCTV cameras should be located,
all respondents suggested placing them in shopping centres.
In this age of mobile phones and the world wide web, when
millions of images are sent around the world every day, it makes
no sense for governments to be trying to curtail the use of CCTV
given its many public safety benefits