The need for a national strategy
Professor Webster’s research argues that it is important for appropriate governance and management mechanisms to be put in place for new forms of digital surveillance to ensure that they are delivered in the public interest.
Professor Webster, Chair of Public Policy and Management, in the Stirling Management School, explained: “Surveillance is powerful and shapes human relations, particularly between the surveyors and the surveilled – and in the case of surveillance cameras this would be citizen-state relations.
“Healthy public discussion around how and why they are used is also essential for effective governance of surveillance cameras, to ensure public trust and support. Therefore, there must be transparency around the purpose, design and usage of the systems.”
The need for a national strategy has become increasingly important as new digital forms of surveillance have been developed, and as these technologies evolve to include automated processes like automatic face recognition.
Professor Webster continued: “New forms of surveillance, such as automated facial recognition, Smart CCTV and body-worn video cameras, often have data processes that are mostly invisible to people being surveyed. Therefore, it’s crucial that there’s also guidance around the best practice and ethical use of all manner of surveillance cameras.”
"Healthy public discussion around how and why they are used is also essential for effective governance of surveillance cameras, to ensure public trust and support."