We've had policemen walking round with mini-CCTV cameras on their lapels. And lollipop ladies with cameras hidden in their lollipop sticks. Now a company in Scotland has developed a CCTV camera that sits in an ID badge.
Perth’s Scottish Communications Group has developed an ID badge which doubles as a high definition personal CCTV camera.
The ‘My Witness’ video badge looks like a regular ID badge as worn by council or NHS staff.
But if the wearer is threatened or comes into danger, a quick flick of the badge reveals a video camera which automatically starts recording the incident.
The device weighs only 130 grams and can record up to ten hours of footage which can be downloaded to provide a record of events.
I can't quite fathom this scheme. There is a very good reason that serious legal questions surround the legality of hidden cameras. What if one of these wearers gave their badge a 'quick flick' when in the toilets? This is, remember, being proposed for NHS staff who will often see patients in vulnerable situations.
This report, and the original idea, suffer from the mass delusion that having a camera makes you safer – when all the evidence suggests otherwise.
At Big Brother Watch we are opposed to any increase in surveillance; this is worse, this is an increase in covert surveillance, for which there is no accountability and no firm rules.
By Dylan Sharpe