Crowd sourcing CCTV – Good idea or not?
The UK is one of the heaviest users of CCTV in the world, being used in everything from banks to driveways; it is not cheap either. The highest priority locations such as banks need a dedicated team of full time staff to monitor the CCTV footage. However smaller businesses such as convenience stores do not have the staff nor money to regularly monitor CCTV.
Internet Eyes is an internet service which allows small businesses to sign up for CCTV monitoring. Sounds expensive, does it not? Eyes’ service allows volunteers on the internet to monitor CCTV in random stores from all over the UK. For only £13 a year anyone can sign up to monitor random CCTV feeds for mischievous behaviour. The volunteers have an option to notify the staff if they see anything potentially incriminating. If the user correctly identifies a criminal, they are awarded three points. The user who accumulates the most points over a month wins £1000 pounds, of which is paid directly into their bank account.
However, is it right that anyone can snoop on video feeds? It has arisen that people no longer feel safe if they are being observed by strangers. However Internet Eyes argues that all members are verified and all actions comply with the Data Protection Act 1988.