[JURIST] The Council of Europe's European Commission for Democracy through Law [official website] issued an opinion [text] Wednesday finding that the use of public video surveillance [JURIST news archive] constitutes "an undeniable threat to fundamental rights such as the right to privacy and the right of respect for his or her private life." The commission urged European governments to enact specific regulations at the national and international level to ensure that the surveillance conforms with the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights [text].
The commission also urged the implementation of guidelines to protect personal data collected by both public and private video surveillance in accordance with EU Directive 95/46/EC [text]. In addition, the commission recommended establishing independent authorities to conduct effective oversight and said that government authorities should be allowed to supervise equipment used by those that engage in private surveillance. The advisory body, also know as the Venice Commission, issued its non-binding opinion at the request of Council of Europe parliamentarian Dick Marty [JURIST news archive]. The COE Press Service has more.