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Department defends use of 'buscams'

The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure has defended its use of external CCTV on buses.

It comes after the Data Protection Supervisor revealed he’d served an enforcement notice on Bus Vannin when he learned cameras had been collecting footage of people on private property.

Iain McDonald said the external CCTV on buses had been filming people up to 45 feet away from the vehicles, and accused the DCCL of breaching a European privacy convention.

But in a statement, the DCCL says CCTV is vital for public and passenger safety and front-facing cameras need a longer range to record incidents.

The DCCL says footage is destroyed after 56 days and is only viewed in response to specific incidents.

The department says although it didn’t tell the public of its plans, other agencies were consulted in advance.

It points out it put signs on buses to tell people they were being filmed but says it disagrees with the Data Protection Supervisor about exactly what the signs should look like.

It’s appealing against the enforcement notice but will keep the cameras rolling while the issue is resolved.

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