Illegal Retail Surveillance

By: John Honovich, Published on Jan 15, 2013

Canada's national public broadcaster has a critical report on widespread illegal video surveillance use in major retailers. In this note, we examine the cause, the rationale behind it, the potential impact and how this differs across countries.

Law

The issue behind this is a recent change in Canadian federal law that significantly increases responsibilities of video surveillance users to disclose their presence. Specifically:

"Under the law, stores are required to post signs outside their entrances that alert customers to the use of video surveillance, its purpose and a contact number so people can find out how they can obtain a copy of any footage that contains their image."

However, none of the stores examined by a Toronto Institute meet these full requirements and only 30% had any sign at all.

Criticism

Canada's Civil Liberties Association was quick to criticize the situation, saying:

"It's a question of not depriving people of the opportunity to make a decision themselves about what they want to share and what they do not want to share and that's a fundamental aspect of human dignity."

Americans might think it is bizarre to link privacy in public places to human dignity. However, this is an increasingly common philosophy / approach used in the UK as well as the European Union (see our review of International Video Surveillance Laws/Regulations).

Moreover, a Canadian government official further criticized surveillance, claiming:

"Statistics on preventive video surveillance shows that it's practically non-existent. Even in relation to criminal investigations its effect is quite limited so the case for video surveillance in relation to security still has to be made."

While this is certainly debated within municipal monitoring, retailer's use of surveillance undoubtedly has great value, and is the reason behind almost all retailers using it, despite no regulations to do so and retailer's general frugality.

Enforcement Constraints

Even if most Canadian retailers are breaking the law, they will not be going to jail any time soon. As the Canadian government official admitted:

"The only power we really have is the power to name."

Some potential risk exists, especially if it hurts the reputation of a store among consumers, though since cameras in stores are so widespread and overt, it may not have much overall impact.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

RaySharp Revealed - Major China OEM For Western Consumer Video Surveillance on Jul 02, 2019
RaySharp is mostly unknown, even among people in the video surveillance industry, though it is a major supplier of OEM surveillance equipment such...
Directory of 60 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
The Scheme Hikvision and China Importers Use To Avoid Tariffs on Jun 17, 2019
Hikvision and numerous China importers are avoiding 25% tariffs by including an SD card slot in their IP cameras to claim they are 'digital still...
Nortek and SDS Fight Over Failed Settlement on Jun 05, 2019
Distributor SDS said they reached a deal with Nortek but Nortek says no settlement was reached and the suit is still on. In this post, based on...
NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
11 Facial Recognition Providers Review (Secutech) on May 09, 2019
Adding to our 19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled report from ISC West, IPVM focused on facial recognition technology for our Day 2 coverage...
ADT's Top Dealer "The Defenders" Sued 20+ Times on May 07, 2019
ADT's largest authorized dealer, The Defenders, has been sued more than 20 times since 2012, IPVM has verified through analyzing legal...
Dahua and Hikvision Products Illegally Sold To US Government GSA on May 06, 2019
Dahua and Hikvision products are being widely and illegally sold to the US government GSA. The sellers are falsely claiming these China products to...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled on Apr 23, 2019
IPVM interviewed 19 facial recognition providers at ISC West to understand their claimed accuracy, success and positioning. 9 from China, where...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
Vivotek Trend Micro Cyber Security Camera App Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Vivotek and Trend Micro are claiming five million blocked attacks on IP cameras, with their jointly developed app for Vivotek cameras. This new...
Avigilon ACC7 VMS Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Avigilon's Control Center 7 boldly claims it will "transform live video monitoring" with the new Focus of Attention "AI-enabled" interface. We...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to emerging into an AI cloud era.  The goal of this history...
Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Anyvision Aims For 2022 Revenue of $1 Billion on Jul 17, 2019
Only 3 video surveillance manufacturers do a billion dollars or more in annual revenue - Hikvision, Dahua, and Axis. Now, Anyvision plans to join...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact