#Privacy: UK government issues updated data protection impact assessment template and guidance

In the UK, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have updated the data protection impact assessment for surveillance cameras.

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have been working together to update the SCC surveillance camera specific data protection impact assessment (DPIA) template.

The new template and associated guidance notes are jointly issued by the Commissioners to fully reflect updated data protection requirements as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) as well as comply with the requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Where organisations are operating surveillance cameras in public places they are required to carry out a DPIA. Organisations who are introducing new surveillance camera systems or upgrading existing systems can use the template to help them ensure they are complying with relevant legislation.

Tony Porter, Surveillance Camera Commissioner, said:

Ensuring that surveillance camera systems protect communities rather than spy on them is essential in building public trust around the use of overt surveillance cameras. This joint effort between my office and the Information Commissioner’s Office will help ensure that where surveillance cameras are deployed tools are available to help organisations meet legal requirements around privacy and human rights.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, added:

Surveillance systems can cause unnecessary intrusion into people’s daily lives. It is therefore imperative that a Data Protection Impact Assessment is carried out so the risks to people’s rights and freedoms are reduced. The work we have done with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner on this guidance will help to remind organisations of their responsibilities and help them to maintain systems that comply with the law.”

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