New law aims to prevent misuse of CCTV cameras

Kathmandu, January 17

Implementation of the CCTV Camera Installation and Operation Procedure, 2015 recently issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs is expected to prevent misuse of surveillance cameras installed in retail shops, hotels and public places.

The Law and Order, and Arms and Ammunition Section under the MoHA had recently issued a circular to all 57 district administration offices to implement and cause to implement the procedure.

The procedure was carefully prepared after consulting all security agencies to make the use of surveillance cameras systematic.

Officials said the new law has been introduced to regulate the use of surveillance video system. CCTV cameras have been installed in all security sensitive areas, highways, corporations, commercial hubs and private houses.

The procedure has classified the use of surveillance camera into three groups  public security purpose, commercial security purpose and private security purpose.

A senior police official said the law enforcement agency was fully complying with the new procedure to prevent invasion of privacy.

“Now no government agency, commercial house and individual is allowed to install CCTV camera without prior-approval of the concerned agency. Government agencies need to take permission from the home ministry.

Similarly, commercial buildings and individual houses have to obtain permission from the concerned DAOs to install CCTV cameras.

It will definitely help prevent its misuse,” he said, adding that CCTV footage needs to be kept strictly confidential unless demanded by the police for crime investigation.

o one would be allowed to use CCTV footage for business purpose through modification or any other means.

The footage should be kept safely for at least three months from the date of visualisation, he informed.

The procedure also prohibits use of CCTV cameras to violate privacy and human rights of citizens.

No one will be allowed to install secret cameras in washrooms, changing rooms and hotel bedrooms.

Commercial buildings should provide the details of CCTV cameras, including their brand, quality, capacity, quantity, place of installation, place of monitoring and employees working to monitor the surveillance system to the concerned DAO, while obtaining approval for the same.