ISSUES surrounding who controls CCTV data has effectively put town surveillance schemes on hold in County areas.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was introduced across the EU in May, gives greater control to individuals over their personal data by setting out additional and more clearly defined rights on how personal data is collected and processed by organisations and businesses.
The new EU laws require organisations and businesses to be fully transparent about how they are using and safeguarding personal data.
Cork County Council said it has completed CCTV schemes in Midleton, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Bantry Dunmanway and Macroom, while new schemes are being finalised in Mitchelstown and Charleville.
However, talks are ongoing between the Department of Justice, the gardaí and local authorities in an effort to define who is the data controller of these CCTV schemes.
County Hall chief executive Tim Lucey said discussions are holding back community CCTV schemes across Cork.
“Until the issue of who is the controller of this data, and that is a serious issue, is cleared up across the different departments then I suspect that the installation of CCTV systems might well be delayed. This is an issue that needs to be solved at a national level. It is a fact that, for surveillance and for crime prevention the data controller should be the gardaí.
“If Cork County Council needs access to CCTV systems for the purpose of litter or other legislative matters under our jurisdiction, we are then the data controller. That is an issue that needs to be resolved and there is a code of conduct there at the moment that doesn’t suit that scenario.”
Councillor June Murphy (SD) said CCTV is a huge concern for business associations across the county and the local authority is best placed to be the data controller of CCTV footage.
“We need to get moving on it. Cork County Council is the best-placed organisation to deal with this in conjunction with gardaí.
Frank O’Flynn (FF) added: “We need to fast track this. These schemes are important and they must be up and running.”
County Hall has previously been urged by Danielle Twomey (SF) to partner with other local authorities to create a data centre where community CCTV systems would be monitored.
County Hall officials will write to the Department of Justice to seek an update on what progress there has been in negotiations in relation to who will ultimately be the data controller.