The First Map of Budapest CCTVs Is Available Online

After two and a half years of litigations, the Supreme Court has reached its final verdict. Budapest Police Headquarters is ordered to issue data on the CCTV systems operated by the police in Budapest. Locations, and all information regarding the operational, financial, technical, legal and personnel aspects, as well as informing of the public and monitoring data is now considered public interest data.

Out of the 600 cameras operating in Budapest, more than 300 can be found on the map of www.geospace.hu. The Geospace.hu project has helped in the creation of the map free of charge, but to have a complete picture, we ask for the help of the public. Mark on the map where cameras can be found, take pictures of them and upload these to the map. Since in a few districts (X. and XIII.) cameras are unlawfully operated by others than the police, there is no available data on those. The HCLU has initiated, and won lawsuits against those districts in first instance decisions.

There is very little data available on CCTV systems, so we can only be sure of three things:

1. The CCTV restricts citizens from practicing their right to informational autonomy

2. The necessity and proportionality (constitutionality) of the CCTV is not supported by anything, as no study has ever been completed in Hungary on the effects the cameras have on crime, or whether there are other means -namely ones that don’t squelch on people’s privacy- of reducing crime.

3. CCTVs are exteremely expensive. In Zugló (a district of Budapest), 68 cameras were installed in 2006 for 160 million forints. Operational costs also come to millions of forints each year.

By creating the map, the goal of the HCLU and geospace.hu was to inform the public about where and how they are being watched.

The HCLU would like to raise awareness and would like to advance, that citizens are not kept in the dark regarding these restrictions costing millions. Through the Internet, citizens will noe be able to monitor those monitoring them.

 

Share

Related articles

Civil society calls for an end to compulsory telecommunications data retention

More than 100 organizations from 23 European countries last week asked EU Commissioners Malmström, Reding and Kroes in a joint letter to “propose the repeal of the EU requirements regarding data retention in favor of a system of expedited preservation and targeted collection of traffic data".

Biometric passport from the beginning of this week

As from 29th August, 2006 only biometric passports accompanied with electronic chips will be issued in Hungary as well. For the time being, only a biometric photo will be stored in the passport.

Report on an unusual protest

HCLU activists were changing clothes in an open dressing room that was set up on the street in front of a shopping mole in Budapest. The activists protested against the use of hidden cameras installed in dressing rooms of stores all over the city.