Crappy Cameras Trigger City Surveillance Shutdown

By Carlton Purvis, Published May 14, 2013, 12:00am EDT (Info+)

An Australian city has shut off its surveillance system after being ordered to determine how to operate its cameras without violating privacy laws. The order was passed down months after a case brought by one of its residents who argued the city had no surveillance authority and violated laws by improperly collecting personal information, including that the image quality was so poor it was impossible for the city to collect accurate depictions. A tribunal decided in the resident’s favor. In this note, we review the case.

Last Thursday, the City of Shoalhaven, in New South Wales, turned off 18 surveillance cameras in its downtown business district after being ordered by an Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT). The tribunal’s decision is the result of a complaint filed by Shoalhaven resident Adam Bonner. 

****** ******** **** *** **** ****** prevent ***** **** ************ *******, *** no ********* ** ******* ******** *********** and ********** ******** *** ****** **** it ***** ** ********** ******. *** of *** **** ******** ********** ****** was **** *** ****’* ****** ****** **** too **** ** *** *** ******** or ***** **********.

******: ********** *** ****** **'* ******* **** on.**** ******** *** ****** ** **** ****. 

Crime ********** *** ***** *******
**********’* ******* *** *** *******, ***** went ****** ** ****, **** ********** information ** **** ** *** ****’* crime ********** ********,********* ** ******** *******. ************, ***** * ***** *******, the ******* **** ** ******** ****** with ******. 

*** *********** ****** **** **** ***** quality **** ******* *********** *** **** crime ********** ** **************. ****** **** *** camera ******* *** ** **** **** anyone ******** **** ***** *** ** able ** **** *** ****** ******** of ****** ******* **** **** ****** and **** **** ******* ***** *** of ****** ***** ** ** ************* after * ***** ** *********. *** of ** *********, ** **** *** case *** *** ****** ************ ***** camera ******. ** **** **** **** the ****** *** *** ******** **** already “**** ***** ** *** ******.” Note: ** ****** ****** **** **** available ****** **** *** **** ****. 

** *** ********, ****** ***** **** the **** **** ******* *** *** specifications *** *** ******* *** ****** fixed ******* ***** ******* **** (*** our******* **** ********) ** *** ****** ** * provider *** *** ** *** ******* (and ***). 

*** ******** ******, ****** *** ****** ****** were “********** *** **********" ***************, ***** violate *** *********** ** ******* ******** information. ** **** **** *** ****** did *** ******* *** ********** ********** to *** ***********. 

*******, ****** ********* *********, **** “******** information ** *** ********** ********* *** the ******* ** ********* **** ***** prevention” *** **** “****** ****, ************ in ****** *** **** *******, *** a ************* ************* ****** ** ***** reduction.” ***** **** *** *** **** showed **** ***** *** ******** ********* since *** **** ****** ************. ** course, **** ******* *** ********** ** crime ****** ****** *******, **** ******** and ********.

Other ********* 

*** *********** **** ****** *** **** was *** ******** *** *** *********** privacy ********** **** ***** ********** ** personal ***********. ****** ***** *** ****** to ******** *****, *** *** *** operate *** ******.

** *** ******* *** ************, *** tribunal **** ******* ****** ** *** perimeter ** *** ******** ******** *** “sufficient ** ****** * ******** ** individuals **** *** ******* *** ** operation ***, ** ***********, **** ******** information ** ***** *********" *** *** "sufficient ** ****** *********** ** *** purposes *** ***** *** *********** ** being *********.”  

*** ******** ******* *** **** ** “refrain **** *** ******* ** ****** in ************* ** ** *********** ********** principle ** * ******* **** ** practice” ** **** ****** *** ******* off *** ***.

Local ******

*******, **** **** ** ****** ** have ** ****** **** ** *** cameras *** ****, *** ** **** are. ********* ** *** ********, ******* cannot ******* ****** **** ********* ** the **********’* ***** ********** ******** *** a **********. ************, ********** ***** ** assuming ** *** ****** *********** *********** ** *** ********* ***** ** the ******.****** *** ****** **** ******** *********** privacy ****, ****** *** ***. ****** **** to ** ***** *** **** *** collecting ******. ** **** ****, *** tribunal ***** *** ****** **** *** much **** ** *** ****** ******, only ********* ******** ** *** ** 25 ****** *****. ** *** **** ** this ****, *******, **************** ************* ******* ***** *********** ** *********** that ***** ***** ****** ** ******* cameras *** *** *********** ********.

Overall ******

** ** *** ******* **** **** have **** ******* ******. *****, ** appears **** **** ****** **** * mistake ** ***** *** ********** ***** cameras ******* ** **** ** *****-********* ones **** ***** ********** ******** ******* areas. ********, ********* ******* **** *** only ********** ** * ******* ** countries (****** ** ************ *** ****** - *** **************** ************ *** ******).

******:** * ****** ** ****, *** ******* Barry *'******* ********* *** *********** **** exempt ****** **** ***** ** *** privacy ***, ****** **** **** ****** similar ** ***** ** *** ***********. Cities *** *** ******* ** ******* personal *********** ***** **** *** *** cameras ** ********** **** ** ****** **** on ** ****** *********,*** ********* ******* *******.

Comments (4)

Nowra is a country town of around 35000 and 100 miles south of Sydney. The state government is already looking to introduce legislation to bypass this decision.

Here is the relevant information for this project.

This guy is a bit of an idiot as most of the crime is related to alcoholism and occurs outside 9-5. The area has a high population on social welfare.

Source: My fiance used to live there. Her family still does.

How can personal information be collected if the cameras are too blurry to provide identification ? It seems to be a self-contradicting argument.

Alastair, I think the law still considers images being collected, blurry or not, to be "personal information." The problem was that privacy laws dictate that when personal information is collected that is has to be accurate. Bonner argued that the information collected couldn't be accurate if it was blurry and hard to make out a person's face/features.

A fair point. But it's still pretty funny.

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