Police must request permission to access private security videos, the attorney general’s office confirmed

Lawyer Margarita Cabello regulated access to closed television circles by the police

The dilemma of the videos of the security cameras, these devices that you can find on the streets of the country, which on many occasions you do not know if they are real police officer, from the owner of the property on which they are installed, from the community, among many other alternatives and answers that are found when the videos that these devices record are necessary, very useful for crime investigation. Authorities almost always have to ask about their owners, and sometimes they have indiscriminately accessed all the content, which can lead to privacy breaches. Therefore the Attorney General’s Office enforced these behaviors.

Corresponding Law 2197 of January 25, 2022, in addition to regulating the code of criminal procedure, the security and coexistence of citizens and the deterioration of property; regulates the question of carrying weapons, in particular it speaks in Article 48 of surveillance cameras and video surveillance.

“Article 48. Addition of Article 237B to Law 1801 of 2016. National Code of Citizen Security and Coexistence, which will read as follows: Article 237B. Access to surveillance circles and private security. The National Police will be able to access the closed surveillance and private security circuits to carry out preventive, identification or prosecution operations.”

In the concept of Lawyerdoes not include respect for the right to privacy, which could be compromised by law enforcement officers as they may contain “semi-private, private or reserved” information.

Around, the nation’s attorney general, Margarita Cabello BlancoExplained that prior authorization must be sought, either administrative or judicial, to protect people’s intimacy:

“The prosecution shows that in order to respect the fundamental right to privacy, access to videos from closed surveillance and private security systems for the authorities can be restricted, which in some cases requires prior administrative or judicial approval.”

Precisely what prosecutors want to regulate is this legal vacuum, which lawmakers have obviously not considered and which, apart from naming it, does not provide clear guidelines for the scope that these devices can have, including those that can access certain substance.

In fact, with this statement, it is labeled as “adapted to the Political Constitution of Colombia” that Article 48 of the Citizen security and coexistence law; in this regard the Lawyer I agree:

“For this reason, he asked to explain Article 48 of the law adapted to the Constitution, which speaks of access to these circuits by the authorities, with the proviso that they require the appropriate prior authorization, except in exceptional cases of flagrante delicto or mandatory Necessity for which recourse must be had to the respective follow-up inspection by the competent authority.

The panel has been emphasizing this issue for some time to the point where it was asked constitutional court declare this article of the closed television circles to be exequible; unless they are exceptional or obvious cases.

The claim even extended to congressto ensure that these companies delineate and scrutinize each of these provisions so as not to leave spaces or gaps that may compromise the privacy of citizens:

“It is emphasized that despite the potential implications that the right to privacy may have with the National Police allowing free access to these circuits, they do not admit evidence that the Congress of the Republic has justified in a clear manner and precisely that determination not to control the exercise of these powers,” the public ministry said.

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