Is CCTV in chang­ing rooms nec­es­sary?

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - COMMENT -

The knowl­edge that CCTV is film­ing in the chang­ing rooms of a pub­lic swim­ming pool is dis­qui­et­ing. The as­sur­ance that there is soft­ware that can block out nearby cu­bi­cles and pro­tect vis­i­tor pri­vacy doesn’t dull the scep­ti­cism.

A pri­vacy watch­dog calls this a mas­sive in­va­sion of pri­vacy, and cer­tainly it does seem ex­ces­sively in­tru­sive.

Fur­ther, it is sur­pris­ing to learn that it is not il­le­gal to have CCTV in chang­ing rooms.

The mem­ber of the pub­lic who dis­cov­ered the cam­era is nat­u­rally sus­pi­cious of the soft­ware’s abil­ity to block out cer­tain ar­eas, although Leisure & Cul­ture Dundee, who op­er­ate the swim­ming pool, as­sure us that this is the case, and fur­ther­more that the soft­ware can’t be al­tered.

But if the cam­eras are record­ing, is there not unedited footage, be­fore the soft­ware ed­i­tor is ap­plied?

And why is it nec­es­sary to have cam­eras in the chang­ing rooms any­way when they can film from the en­trances and staff are al­ways in at­ten­dance?

It’s also a vi­o­la­tion of the per­cep­tion, and ex­pec­ta­tion, of pri­vacy. What are the safety con­cerns that can’t be ad­dressed in other, more palat­able ways?

In fair­ness, the best of in­ten­tions have prob­a­bly gone into this, but the ex­e­cu­tion seems heavy-handed and in­va­sive.

It’s a sit­u­a­tion that needs fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, be­cause it raises a lot of ques­tions, and doesn’t in­spire trust.

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