A third of housing associations admit their CCTV generates poor quality images

One in three housing associations admit that their CCTV footage might be unfit for the purpose for which they installed network cameras: identifying intruders, vandals and other suspected criminals. Asked what their biggest concerns about their CCTV system, a third cited poor image quality. Those are the findings from a survey from Cloudview, which enable users to record and store high definition evidence quality images and video footage in the cloud.

CCTV has come a long way in terms of image quality since the days of grainy, black and white images, with 4K and even 7K models now available. Some may be surprised to learn, then that so many housing associations admitted to poor quality images. These admissions mean that they could find themselves in breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA), which states that data recorded with the purpose of identifying individuals performing criminal activities must be of sufficient quality to do so. Chosen as the subject of the survey because they rely heavily on CCTV systems to protect residents and assets, housing associations must manage multiple locations while generating efficiencies and reducing costs. Cloudview believes they could gain considerable improvements from increasing digitisation and federating data. Eighty-three per cent of survey respondents rated the quality of CCTV images as very important. Data security and compliance with the DPA are the next most important concerns showing that data protection legislation is a big issue for housing associations using CCTV. The areas of least concern included time-stamping of images, firmware updates and adding additional CCTV cameras. However, there is no point in having a high-quality image if the time it was recorded is inaccurate; as well as being unusable for many purposes such as evidence in criminal investigations, this is another potential breach of the DPA.

Similarly and also a DPA requirement, a lack of concern for firmware updates shows that users do not understand the security risks of not implementing updates and patches, leaving systems open to potential hacking as new security threats are being developed all the time. Cloudview co-founder and CEO James Wickes said: For a CCTV system to serve its purpose, the recordings should be of sufficient quality to identify individuals performing criminal activity and be easily accessible by the police, with the right credentials to be used as evidence, such as accurate timestamping. It appears that many systems used to protect property, staff or tenants may not be fit for purpose and are breaching data protection legislation, putting companies at risk of fines, bad publicity and even criminal sanctions. If organisations are worried about their CCTV, they can address many of their concerns without the need to rip and replace by simply adding a Cloudview adapter and connecting their current CCTV systems to Cloudview via the IoT, added Wickes. This will give them secure, encrypted storage for high quality images, accurate time and date stamping and immediate access to their data if it s needed by the police helping to ensure that even older analogue systems comply with the DPA. The survey was carried out by independent researchers amongst 100 IT managers, housing associations and facilities managers in June 2016. Download: The Video Surveillance Report 2016 This exclusive report covers the security needs of surveillance systems as shaped by the physical environment including: What do security professionals think about plug-and-play systems Challenges like low-light conditions or large spaces and the threats posed in various sectors Which cutting-edge features such as mobile access, PTZ smart controls or 4K resolution are most important to security professionals What are the most important factors driving upgrades and would end users consider an upgrade to HD analogue Download the full report here.

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