A company is taking Big Brother Britain to new levels with the launch of a CCTV camera that sits in an ID badge.
Perth’s Scottish Communications Group has created the HD ‘My Witness’ video badge which looks like a regular ID badge as worn by council or NHS staff. If the wearer is threatened or comes into danger, a quick flick of the badge reveals a video camera which automatically starts recording the incident. The badges are also said to help police forces take footage of suspected criminals and if necessary be used as evidence in court to help secure a conviction.
They are already been used by Tayside Police. A representative for the force told Deadline Scotland: “The cameras have been particularly effective in identifying those involved in anti-social behaviour such as riding motorbikes on public roads.
“Very often those on the motorbikes make off as soon as officers arrive but by filming the culprits on the body-worn CCTV, officers can then share the images amongst colleagues in a bid to identify those involved.
“This has had a high success rate with a number of individuals being identified and dealt with.”
However not everyone is so keen. On hearing about the badges Bigbrotherwatch’s Dylan Sharpe wrote in a blog post: “I can’t quite fathom this scheme. There is a very good reason that serious legal questions surround the legality of hidden cameras. What if one of these wearers gave their badge a ‘quick flick’ when in the toilets? This is, remember, being proposed for NHS staff who will often see patients in vulnerable situations.
“This report, and the original idea, suffer from the mass delusion that having a camera makes you safer – when all the evidence suggests otherwise.
“At Big Brother Watch we are opposed to any increase in surveillance; this is worse, this is an increase in covert surveillance, for which there is no accountability and no firm rules.”