Public-private surveillance project in India raises privacy concerns

February 14, 2017 - 

A surveillance project in Mumbai that would see private and public establishments share their CCTV feed with the police is raising privacy concerns over allowing police access to private networks, according to a report by DNA India.

The surveillance project consists of a network of 4,717 cameras, installed at 1,510 sensitive locations. In an effort to improve surveillance, enable faster response and enhance protection, the government wants live access to the video feeds of malls, five-star hotels, shops, banks and railway stations.

While the CCTV project has gone live, connectivity to these establishments has yet to happen.

This week, government officials said that it was decided that the Mumbai police will hold meetings with these establishments to clear misunderstandings and iron out hurdles to complete the project by March. “Work on system integration has started with public establishments,” an official said.

“CCTV systems on Central and Western railway stations will be integrated on priority,” he added, stating this was part of the collaborative framework. The next stage will see the state cover the peripheries of large housing societies and road-facing cameras of private establishments through last-mile connectivity. “The system is scalable…it will not affect performance.”

The project includes two control rooms at the police commissioner office and traffic police headquarters, a disaster recovery room at Kalina, two data centers, 10 mobile vans with mounted cameras to help control rooms monitor the ground-level situation through live feeds, a picture intelligence unit and facial recognition software.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.