THE BRITISH Security Industry Association (BSIA) is calling on the Government to clarity how it intends to “fill the void” created by the recent resignation of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner and the proposed abolition of the Office of the Commissioner at the Home Office.
Professor Fraser Sampson, the current Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, will remain in post until the end of October before the functions of the role are expected to be subsumed by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner as part of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, which is proceeding through Parliament. As currently written, the Bill removes the need for the Government to publish a Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.
For its part, the BSIA has worked closely with the Office of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner since its formation in 2014. Tony Porter QPM, the inaugural Surveillance Camera Commissioner, welcomed the opportunity of engagement from the BSIA.
Indeed, the Trade Association went on to lead two of the key industry strands of work around the National Surveillance Camera Strategy for England and Wales. In this capacity, the BSIA engaged with other stakeholders to create several foundation documents, including the list of key recommended standards for use in video surveillance systems, a buyers’ toolkit, the passport to compliance and also a ‘Secure by Default’ self-certification scheme aimed squarely at manufacturers.
A great deal of this work is set to be ‘archived’ when the Office of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner is closed. It’s also unclear as to how the transfer of the functions of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner will be carried out in practice and whether or not engagement with industry practitioners will even be a consideration.