OIPC Reviewing Local Government Video Surveillance

The OIPC issued a release on February 7, 2018, regarding its concerns about video surveillance by local governments:

The Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner states that while video surveillance is tempting to local governments to address public safety issues, there is little evidence that surveillance works. The OIPC is working with three municipalities to determine whether their recent video surveillance proposals are lawful.

This is a reminder to local governments that video surveillance that collects information that can identify individuals must be compliant with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Before a local government spends resources to implement a video surveillance system, we recommend that local governments review the Public Sector Surveillance Guidelines prepared by the OIPC and prepare a privacy impact assessment:

Local governments need to consider whether a less privacy-intrusive option will meet the stated goals of any video surveillance.

We will provide an update when the OIPC releases any further information about the video surveillance proposals referenced in the attached release.

Carolyn MacEachern

Contributing Lawyers: