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03 Dec 2021

GDPR may hinder Naas CCTV moves against dumping

Council debate

GDPR may hinder Naas CCTV moves against dumping

Kildare County Council headquarters at Aras Chill Dara

The use of CCTV to tackle illegal dumping in the Naas area may be compromised by General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), according to Kildare County Council.

Three councillors - Fintan Brett, Anne Breen and Carmel Kelly - have demanded “overt or covert” cameras at known dumping blackspots to tackle the increasing frequency of dumping.

According to KCC official Ken Kavanagh, the council and the community wardens continue to work with the councillors and the community to address incidents of illegal dumping.

CCTV has been used to monitor and enforce instances of littering and illegal dumping, including at known litter blackspots and some bottle bank locations.

“However, the processing of data through CCTV poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, and the council must have a legal basis for processing personal data through the use of CCTV,” Mr Kavanagh reported.

GDPR significantly increased the obligations and responsibilities for organisations and businesses in how they collect, use and protect personal data.

They are required to be fully transparent about how they are using and safeguarding personal data, and to be able to demonstrate accountability for data processing activities. Recognisable images captured by CCTV systems are “personal data” and subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Acts.

In addition to the cost of CCTV, and legal issues around GDPR and potential breaches of privacy, the operation of CCTV can give rise to some practical operational difficulties, he said.

Nevertheless, dumping is increasing and Naas mayor Fintan Brett said “people are getting bolder and dumping is taking place closer to villages.”

He added: “We need funding to put a stop to this carry on.”

Cllr Carmel Kelly said sufficient deterrents should be in place to make dumping “a no go for anyone thinking about it.”

She said Tidy Towns groups and walkers would help resolve it adding “we need to stamp it out now.”

The meeting also heard that a forthcoming report from the Data Protection Commissioner is expected to raise significant concerns around the ongoing use of CCTV, in County Kildare and elsewhere.

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