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News 30 Apr 12

Army of Cameras Invade Belgraders’ Privacy

Concern is growing over the mass of security cameras now deployed in the capital, the use of which has yet to be regulated by parliament.

Belgrade

It is hard to walk down one of the central streets in Belgrade these days and not be caught by at least one security camera.

In past years, cameras have been set up to guard banks, shops, schools, carparks, public transportation, private houses and residential buildings.

But as Serbia does not have a law to regulate who can set up such cameras, and why and how they should be set up, there is no exact figure on how many cameras exist.

The general guidelines on what personal data can be gathered, who can see them and how they should be stored are prescribed in the Law on Personal Data Protection, adopted in October 2008.

But as this law does not regulate the area precisely enough, the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection has drafted a decree that was sent to the government in December 2011.

The draft Law on Private Security prescribes when and how video surveillance can be used and who can have the access to the material. However, the government has not sent the decree to parliament for adoption.

“In the meantime we are being watched by tens of thousands of cameras and we don’t know who is filming us, how those films are being used and stored, or who has the access to them,” Rodoljub Sabic, Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection, told Vecernje Novosti.

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