Wednesday, 12 May 2010

User testing Responses: Olga


I found the viewer to be an interesting idea. I am fairly sure people would be interested in seeing pictures from around the world. I would suspect they would love seeing places that friends and loved ones may live, or of places they were about to go on holiday or had just been to. In general, though, these pictures would be from static cameras.

My concerns were more from a licencing/permissions point of view. I can see that fixed CCTV cameras outside municipal buildings may be an easier option, but local authority and Police cameras would be more difficult to tap into given that CCTV operators have a long list of rules to abide by. Local authority cameras are generally staffed by Police staff who have already gone through a large amount of checks in order to become employed by Police. It is then not just a question of pointing a camera at whatever you like.

CCTV operators are not allowed to follow someone on camera unless they have a good reason for doing so. They cannot watch specific properties unless they have surveillance permissions. They may be directed by officers to watch certain things that may not necessarily be for public viewing.

For instance, if cameras were following perpetrators of crime, public access would not be possible due to data protection issues, not to mention possible vigilante activilty.

Sadly, although Big Brother may constantly be watching, he is bound up in so much red tape that it would be very difficult to gain permission to view the same images.

There is also the very real moral dilema of whether we already have too much surveillance in this country given that other countries would not allow our level of CCTV (Canada - intrusion into civil liberties, etc). However, that is another issue!

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