Reg­u­la­tion puts eye on se­cu­rity cam­eras

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­

Any­one who sets up surveil­lance cam­eras that re­sult in the vi­o­la­tion of oth­ers’ pri­va­cy­may be fined a min­i­mum of 1,000 yuan ($145), ac­cord­ing to a draft or­di­nance­madepub­lic by theM­i­nistry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity.

The min­istry re­leased the or­di­nance for pub­lic re­viewon Mon­day.

Im­age-col­lect­ing de­vices are pro­hib­ited from be­ing in­stalled in places likely to re­sult in the leak of pri­vate im­ages, such as a ho­tel rooms, dor­mi­to­ries, pub­lic bath­rooms or locker rooms.

Vi­o­la­tions carry fines from 1,000 to 100,000 yuan.

Jiang Ming’an, head of the con­sti­tu­tion and the ad­min­is­tra­tive law stud­ies depart­ment at Pek­ing Univer­sity, said there is an ur­gent need to pro­tect the pri­vacy of en­ti­ties as well as in­di­vid­u­als.

“I think it is time for leg­is­la­tors to make a pri­vacy law to pro­tect per­sonal data. At present, the le­gal ba­sis for pri­vacy pro­tec­tion is men­tioned in the Civil Law, with gen­er­al­ized pro­vi­sions on the rights of names, pic­tures and rep­u­ta­tion,” Jiang said, adding that a spe­cific sin­gle law on pri­vacy pro­tec­tion should be in place as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The def­i­ni­tion of pri­vacy should be stip­u­lated by law, and ques­tions such as what vi­o­la­tions should be de­fined as il­le­gal un­der the law need to be an­swered in a statu­tory book,” he said.

Wei Jie, a lawyer at Jieqiang Law Firm in Bei­jing, said the draft reg­u­la­tion is a step for­ward for pri­vacy pro­tec­tion. “We need to strike a bal­ance be­tween pub­lic in­ter­ests and per­sonal rights, which in­clude pri­vacy,” he said.

The draft or­di­nance re­quires a rea­son­able dis­tance be­tween a cam­era or video equip­ment and a house­hold res­i­dence. It also in­cludes clauses re­lated to leak­ing and mis­us­ing per­sonal im­ages col­lected for pub­lic se­cu­rity pur­poses.

Po­ten­tial max­i­mum fine for peo­ple who set up surveil­lance cam­eras that re­sult in the vi­o­la­tion of oth­ers’ pri­vacy

Reg­u­la­tions on the in­stal­la­tion of cam­eras and the use of video data have been adopted re­cently by sev­eral gov­ern­ments at pro­vin­cial lev­els.

Also on Mon­day, a reg­u­la­tion was pub­lished by the gov­ern­ment of An­hui prov­ince, stip­u­lat­ing that surveil­lance cam­eras for pub­lic se­cu­rity must be in­stalled in pub­lic places such as schools, med­i­cal es­tab­lish­ments and pub­lic trans­porta­tion ve­hi­cles.

Pub­lic se­cu­rity de­part­ments and gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions that have ap­proval from pub­lic se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties are al­lowed to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion, ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion.

Any per­son or en­tity that leaks video data or pic­tures will be held ac­count­able, ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion.

It also pro­hibits cam­eras from be­ing in­stalled in a fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion where they can re­veal per­sonal data, as well as from places that could ex­pose opin­ions, such as bal­lot boxes.

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