Member Discussion

IZ - Inappropriate Zooming In The News Again...

But this time it's criminal.

According to the prosecution, Mr McCleave used a camera - whose default was normally set to a junction on the Whitewell Road and Shore Road in north Belfast - and directed it into the woman's first floor apartment for a total of 79 minutes over a 26-day period.

The prosecution lawyer told the jury that operators wishing to examine screens more clearly could zoom in using a joystick, and that only one operator at a time could use the joystick to look at a screen.

She told the court that on the afternoon of 12 November 2012, a colleague of Mr McCleave's returned to pod one after being at the gym, and after checking several other cameras, he then dialled up camera 17 - the camera which overlooked the Whitewell Road and Shore Road junction. The lawyer said the colleague "turned to glance at the camera" and immediately noticed that instead of being pointed at the normal interface area, it was "directed in a window of, clearly, a private dwelling somewhere within the scope of camera 17".

Upon further investigation, the colleague discovered that this camera was being operated and monitored from pod three, where Mr McCleave was sitting, and the same image was displayed on that pod.

though he has put forth this convincing alibi:

When asked about the incident on 12 November when the woman was seen walking round her apartment in a state of undress, Mr McCleave said he had gone to make a cup of tea, he must have left his monitor on and suggested that he did not have control of camera 17.

Apparently camera 17 is not the only thing he didn't have control of. But the prosecution alleges other victims as well:

She said other footage attributed to Mr McCleave over that period included the young woman "going about her business" in the flat and out on the street as well "concentrating" on other women.

Trial pending, but since there is apparently no privacy masking, he may not be the first and one wonders how many other victims are out there, blithely unaware that they have been "concentrated" upon and zoomed ruthlessly...

Thanks for sharing. I bet this is an especially significant risk in the UK as they have so many actively monitored city CCTV cameras.

"..but since there is apparently no privacy masking,"

If the camera is a PTZ, how exactly would you configure a privacy mask?

Lots of PTZs allow privacy masks based on the camera position. The mask moves as the camera does.

That being said, PTZ mechanisms are known to drift a little bit over time, so the masks need to be checked periodically to make sure they haven't drifted with it and you're suddenly seeing in someone's second story window.

PTZ privacy mask video demo from Youtube:

I stand corrected.

So this mask would have to be set up in the camera itself? Or in the VMS?

both options can be made.

almost all ptz supports privacy masking, only a few vms can do that with some specific cameras.

Privacy Masking guidelines are covered by the BSIA.

It doesn't surprise me unfortunately. The operators should have privacy masked anything that smacked of being able to view a private dwelling. This is what we had to do in the UK.