13 February 2017

Moreton Bay Mikes

The Queensland Information Commissioner has responded to revelations that Moreton Bay Regional Council, a large local government in that state, is operating audio-equipped CCTV, by stating
Queensland’s Privacy Commissioner will be seeking clarification from Moreton Bay Regional Council about their use of CCTV cameras that record audio to determine Council’s compliance with the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld).
This follows Councils recent deployment of upgraded CCTV cameras. Council operate a network of 874 CCTV cameras throughout the Moreton Bay Region and over one third now have the capability to play back audio.
Privacy Commissioner Phil Green said, “I have written to Moreton Bay Regional Council seeking clarification about how these upgraded cameras are being used and managed so I can determine whether Council is complying with Queensland’s Information Privacy Act.”
“Council have indicated their willingness to work with us on this issue and that’s a positive step in the process.”
“While I have concerns about the upgraded cameras’ ability to record audio it’s vital to have all the facts before proceeding further.”
“Technology is challenging many aspects of our laws, including privacy. When this occurs and citizens’ rights might be affected it’s important to gather the facts and keep the public informed”, Privacy Commissioner Green said.
Moreton's mayor is reported as commenting
the council was not eavesdropping but recording the audio to supply to police who already sought CCTV for criminal investigations. 
“We don’t listen on a daily basis to conversations, this is as requested, if police come along and say can we have the footage,” he said.