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MPs CALL FOR ACTION AGAINST VIDEO COMPILED FROM CCTV TAPES

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MPs have called on the home secretary to take action against a video released today showing people caught unwitting...
MPs have called on the home secretary to take action against a video released today showing people caught unwittingly on closed circuit surveillance cameras, reports BBC Three Counties.

Michael Howard is being urged to ban footage from cameras used for crime prevention being sold on for entertainment.

The video shows car thieves and muggers caught on camera, but it also shows a couple having sex in a doorway and innocent people being spied on in a hotel changing room.

Labour MP Tam Dalyell says it brings legitimate camera surveillance into disrepute and leaves people caught on camera open to blackmail. He suggests 'spy camera' tapes should be erased once they are no longer of any use.

Roger Gale MP, chairman of the Conservative backbench media committee and former television producer, said the footage played straight into the hands of those who think crime prevention cameras are an infringement of civil liberties.

The video's producer, Barry Golding, said it was voyeuristic but he wanted to provoke a debate about the lack of safeguards on the use of CCTV footage.

And on Radio 5 Live's national phone-in programme Mr Golding revealed that some of the footage had been provided by an East Anglian local authority. He did not name the council involved.

Peter Greenwood, of the Association of District Councils, said if he was told which council had done this, he would write expressing concern and urging that it adopt strict controls in consultation with the police to prevent commercial exploitation of CCTV footage.

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