Video surveillance is very prominent these days and given ThePrivacyPlace.Org’s extensive analyses of privacy documents at Financial Institutions (see: Financial Privacy Policies and the Need for Standardization), I decided to examine whether financial institutions now mention the collection of information via video surveillance in their policy documents. I checked all nine institutions examined in our 2004 IEEE Security & Privacy paper. None of the nine institutions mention video surveillance in any of their privacy, security or legal statements. Given that banks, for example, collect video of all ATM transactions and of patrons that enter their institutions it seems only natural that we, as patrons, have a right to expect that these practices be included in their policy statements. Video surveillance impacts one’s sense of autonomy because the knowledge that one’s actions are being observed may alter one’s behavior, thus resulting in a loss of privacy. There are certainly merits to video surveillance at ATM machines (public safety, deterrence of crime, etc.). However, the loss of autonomy results in a potential invasion of privacy about which patrons need to be informed. This begs the questions: Why are financial institution not including their video surveillance practices in their policy statements? Are patrons not entitled to know how this video is used and whether it is aggregated with other kinds of information about them?
The Privacy Place Archives for Friday, October 7th, 2005.
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