Images to deter littering posted by Dublin City Council may be a breach of privacy. They were posted in a rubbish black spot area at the 5 lamps in Dublin last Friday. The 12 images are of people littering or dumping in the area taken from CCTV cameras which were recently installed as a litter preventative measure. Whilst no personal information is used, the poster shows people dumping refuse sacks and smaller supermarket bags, as well as a woman dumping a suitcase and two young men dumping a sofa.
Although the images are blurred in keeping with stills from CCTV cameras, it is said it is possible for the people depicted to identify themselves. Data protection experts are concerned that this may be a breach in data protection legislation.
RTE news reports that the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner contacted Dublin City Council to advise them that they must be fair in how they process personal data and that it must not be overly prejudicial to a person’s right to privacy.
Dublin City Council are delighted with the impact of the poster. Since sited, the posters have been effective in clearing the area of rubbish. For 10 years the Council had anti- dumping and littering signs posted on walls with little change to the levels of dumping. They believe that the poster is not in breach of legislation and it is proportional to the illegal dumping in the area writes RTE news. In fact they are considering rolling out the scheme to other areas across the city.