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- To: "Debate" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [FYI]: CCTV
- From: "Kai Raven" <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 21:35:09 +0200
- Comment: This message comes from the debate mailing list.
- References: <199906151921.PAA07202@hotmail.com>
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
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On 15.06.99 at 15:21 FPC <email@example.com> wrote:
> $$ The Privacy Battle! by email only $$
> JUNE 1999
>[Removal Instructions can be found at the bottom of this letter]
> Published by Financial Privacy Consultants, Inc.
>  BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU (UK)
>Source: TIMES, UK
>For non-Brits, Jill Dando was a high profile TV presenter who was recently
>shot just outside her home in London
> BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU
>An average person could be filmed on up to 300 closed circuit television
>cameras in a single day. Jon Ashworth investigates
>It is hard to erase the haunting image of Jill Dando, with less than an
>hour left to live, stepping into Dixons on her way home. The image,
>captured on a security camera, is all the more chilling for its detached
>voyeurism. Another image leaps out at us: a man in a baseball cap, singled
>out from the Brixton crowd. From shopping to driving to boarding a train,
>the chances are that a camera captures our every movement.
>But closed-circuit television (CCTV) is merely one part of a broad canvas.
>Switch on your mobile phone and you might as well have an electronic tag
>chained to your ankle. Send an e-mail and you might as well send up a
>flare. Sign up for a supermarket loyalty card and there is no telling who
>will know your secrets. It is hard to escape the feeling that Big Brother
>is looking over your shoulder.
>The investigation into Miss Dando's murder has brought home to everyone
>just how pervasive CCTV cameras have become. Detectives are seeking to
>recreate her journey back to her Fulham home using images snapped from
>cameras along the way. London Underground security tapes might provide
>fresh clues. All add to pieces of a pictorial jigsaw.
>Britain has more than a million CCTV cameras, and the numbers are
>increasing all the time. Every day someone living in London will typically
>encounter more than 300 cameras. Shops, restaurants, bus stops, housing
>estates and office entrances are all covered. Perhaps the most scrutinised
>area in Britain is the City of London, which cloaked itself in a "ring of
>steel" security cordon following the IRA bombs of 1992 and 1993. Cameras
>mounted at entry points take snapshots of number plates and identify
>suspect vehicles - all in the space of four seconds.
>The Automatic Number Plate Reader has directly led to more than 500
>arrests since February 1997, when it was introduced. In one case an
>alleged rapist was arrested after driving through a City checkpoint. The
>police had been searching for him for more than two years. Many cases
>relate to stolen cars, details of which are logged in the Police National
>The proliferation of CCTV cameras within the Square Mile enables City
>police to track suspects. In one case officers on the ground lost sight of
>some burglary suspects. They were picked up later on CCTV, enabling the
>police to close in and make arrests. Cameras zoom in and out, swivel
>through 360 degrees and are fitted with lights, enabling round-the-clock
>The next logical step is face-recognition technology, in which the faces
>of the driver and front-seat passenger will be scanned through a
>photo-database. Tests are continuing with the system, which is called
>The workplace itself is laden with potential snares for the unwary. Office
>e-mails can be tapped into and retrieved months after they have been
>deleted. Some firms employ software to screen e-mails for trigger words,
>alerting managers to possible theft of confidential information.
>Tim Allen of Lee & Allen, a London investigations firm, says: "People get
>to work in the morning, switch on their computer because they're on e-mail
>and leave it on for the entire day. It is monitoring everything from the
>moment you arrive to the moment that you leave."
>City firms routinely record telephone calls - ostensibly in case dealing
>orders are queried by clients. Employees can never be quite certain
>whether someone is listening in.
>The sensation of being watched extends to routine chores such as shopping
>or planning a holiday. Ring up for a brochure and you will be asked for
>your postcode. Give the postcode and they will tell you your street name.
>Where does it all come from?
>There are four principal sources: the Post Office, for addresses and
>postcodes; BT for telephone numbers; the electoral register for matching
>names to properties; and Ordnance Survey for local street maps. The
>databases have been digitised, allowing computers to match and
>Millions of Britons sign up for store loyalty cards, allowing retailers to
>build an accurate picture of their spending habits. Which? magazine, which
>looked at loyalty cards last year, found widespread concern about what
>companies might do with the personal information on their files. The shops
>say they use it to help with marketing and buying strategies. However,
>names and addresses are sold on for use in mailshots. Companies which keep
>personal details on computer must register with the Data Protection
>Registrar, which says: "Supermarkets do hold quite a detailed bank of
>information about customers. It is an area that we intend to keep an eye
>Anthony Capstick, managing director of Instant Search, which runs business
>searches, says perceptions are sometimes exaggerated. "A popular belief is
>that there is a computer 'out there' which is all seeing and all knowing,"
>he says. "The reality is that there are many computers which hold
>different types of information about you. Some are connected and some are
>Liz Parratt, campaigns officer for Liberty, the human rights organisation,
>says there are several issues to be addressed. "Many of these technologies
>have developed very rapidly and have thus outstripped the pace of
>regulation. Surveillance technology is promoted as the universal solution
>to crime, but this really needs to be kept in proportion. CCTV, for
>example, can be useful in detection - as we have recently seen - but in
>crime prevention terms it's often better at protecting property than
>people and some studies have shown that it can displace rather than reduce
>Mobile phones, like e-mails, carry the illusion of being private and
>secure when in fact they are nothing of the kind. Not only can
>conversations be listened into using radio scanners - remember the Camilla
>tapes? - but the signal acts as a homing mechanism.
>When a mobile (or cellphone) is switched on, the network can identify the
>zone - or cell - in which it falls. The signal can be triangulated by
>taking a fix from different base stations.
>Global Trak International, based in California, is also promoting a range
>of 'homing' bracelets, including KidTrak for children and SeniorTrak for
>the elderly. Fitting granny with an electronic ball and chain - now
>there's an idea.
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