New research from Cloudview has found that a third of housing providers are worried that their CCTV images are too low quality to identify criminals or intruders, even though this is why most of them installed CCTV in the first place.
These organisations could also find themselves in breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA), which states that data recorded with the purpose of identifying individuals performing criminal activities must be of sufficient quality to do so, otherwise its capture is unjustified.
The ‘Video in UK Social Housing’ report, which was commissioned by cloud-based video surveillance company Cloudview, looked at why housing providers invest in CCTV and their main concerns about its performance.
Cloudview’s report found that image quality was a major concern, as an even higher percentage of housing providers that didn’t have a CCTV system had decided against installing one due to poor image quality.
Data security and DPA compliance were the next most important concerns, showing that data protection legislation is a big issue for housing providers using CCTV. The areas of least concern included the time-stamping of images, firmware updates and adding additional CCTV cameras.
However, the report pointed out that there was no point in having a high-quality image if the time it was recorded is inaccurate; as well as being unusable for many purposes such as evidence in criminal investigations, this is another potential breach of the DPA. Similarly, and also a DPA requirement, a lack of concern for firmware updates shows that users don’t understand the security risks of not implementing updates and patches, leaving systems open to potential hacking.
James Wickes, co-founder and CEO, Cloudview, said, “For a CCTV system to serve its purpose, the recordings should be of sufficient quality to identify individuals performing criminal activity and be easily accessible by the police, with the right credentials to be used as evidence, such as accurate timestamping. It appears that many systems used to protect property, staff or tenants may not be fit for purpose and are breaching data protection legislation, putting companies at risk of fines, bad publicity and even criminal sanctions.
“If organisations are worried about their CCTV, they can address many of their concerns without the need to ‘rip and replace’ by simply adding a Cloudview adapter and connecting their current CCTV systems to Cloudview via the internet of things.
“This will give them secure, encrypted storage for high-quality images, accurate time- and date-stamping and immediate access to their data if it’s needed by the police, helping to ensure that even older analogue systems comply with the DPA.”
The report can be downloaded from: www.howtocloudview.com.