Will laws soon stop you from filming your neighbors?

With the topical focus on one human spying on another, authorities in the U.K. believe new laws may be necessary to prevent people from filming their neighbors using their CCTV security systems.

Yes, CCTV systems can transmit the latest images to your phone. How convenient. 2D Electronics/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk

I hate to bring up the subject of people spying on people, but it seems to be entering the realms of an epidemic.

Many no doubt nice human beings are installing closed circuit TV systems in order to protect their properties from marauding anarchists or burglars who want to enter their houses to browse Facebook .

Once they have these systems, they begin to realize that they can use them to snoop on their neighbors -- especially the ones where the husband wears a skirt to greet the mailman.

Now the place that has more cameras than steak and kidney pies, the United Kingdom, is considering the idea that CCTV systems might have to be regulated by law.

The Telegraph reveals that Andrew Rennison, the U.K.'s surveillance camera commissioner -- yes, they really have one -- believes that new laws may have to be enacted.

CCTV systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Which means that more and more neighbors are complaining that their intimate activities are being filmed.

There is little worse than being filmed mowing your lawn topless. Unless it's sunbathing while sipping a large brown beer and reading a Dan Brown novel in your own garden.

It's extraordinary how some people can become sensitive about privacy in one area of their lives (their four walls) and be entirely insensitive about it elsewhere (the Internet).

Rennison said that in any new law he feared having to balance the needs of preventing crime with the deep personal interest in preventing prying.

Now there's a novel dilemma.

How do you judge whether someone's private CCTV system is -- to use Rennison's words -- "necessary, proportionate, and effective"?

It's the question of our times. Let me ask Edward Snowden what he thinks.

 

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