Why sign the Charter for a Democratic Use of Video Surveillance

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One of the outcomes of the European project “Citizens, Cities and Video Surveillance”, the Charter for A Democratic Use of Video Surveillance is both a code of deontology and a methodological tool aimed at any local authority using or planning to use a CCTV system to monitor its public and semi-public spaces.

Drawn up during the working sessions of the “Citizens, Cities and Video Surveillance” project that gathered during 18 months, between 2009 and 2010, ten partner-cities member of the Efus (Genoa, Italy, Ibiza, Spain, Le Havre, France, Liège, Belgium, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Saint-Herblain, France), as well as the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Veneto, the London Metropolitan Police and the Police of Sussex of the United Kingdom, and various European experts, the Charter offers a concrete answer to the question of how to balance security and privacy when policing our cities.

It is also the first ethical charter discussing at a European level the challenges posed by CCTV technology. It is complementary to similar initiatives taken by a certain number of European institutions that do not have competency to rule in that field. It also complements national legislations.

By signing the Charter, elected officials reaffirm and officialise their commitment in favour of a responsible use of video surveillance. The fact that it is a rapidly-evolving technology, and that its use is increasing at an exponential pace throughout Europe, make it more than ever necessary to take a serious look at its impact on our societies.

The Chart has been signed by a certain number of cities member of the Forum. Also, it has been officially adopted by the Forum Executive Committee in November, 2010. For any further information , and if you wish to sign the Charter, please visit www.cctvcharter.eu