Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, which plans to establish an ordinance regulating the operation of surveillance cameras in public spaces, has decided to compel operators to report to the ward office before cameras are installed, it was learned Wednesday.
The ordinance, which would be the first of its kind by a local government, is aimed at protecting the privacy of pedestrians in a way that does not detract from the cameras’ crime-prevention functions.
At present, no laws or ordinances regulate the operation of these camera systems, such as how acquired data can be used.
An increasing number of surveillance systems, which are designed to curb crime and help police identify suspects, have been installed on streets and in parks in recent years.
According to draft guidelines submitted by the ward to an expert panel on Wednesday, operators must provide detailed information on their systems — such as the number, positioning and purpose of cameras — to the mayor before installation.
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