A Home Office decision not to accept a code of practice for how surveillance cameras are used in hospitals seems at odds with how organisations are required to collect and manage personal data in the UK.
According to The Guardian:
The government has rejected a request by the surveillance camera watchdog to allow it to monitor the increasing and unregulated use of CCTV and body-worn video cameras in hospitals.
The body cameras, which record sound as well as images, are being increasingly deployed in hospitals in an effort to tackle abuse of frontline health service staff.
On Wednesday, it emerged that surveillance camera commissioner Tony Porter had warned ministers last year that the privacy of millions of NHS patients was put at risk by the unchecked use of the cameras.
In a call backed by privacy campaigners, Porter recommended adding NHS trusts to a list of public bodies required to comply with a code of practice on the use of surveillance in an effort to promote greater transparency and accountability.
But the Home Office, the department to which Porter reports, has rejected the requests.
There are clearly good reasons for having such monitoring systems in hospitals but their unchecked use seems likely to result in a public backlash if videos start to leak into the public sphere. Trust between patients and health workers is essential. Similarly, IoT vendors are finding that public concerns over privacy and data ownership are a barrier to adoption and this Home Office decision may come back to bite them.