Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak maintained on Wednesday that the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras is meant to boost public security and to help the police solve crimes, adding that the installation of the public surveillance cameras follows the guidelines laid out by the Personal Data Protection Office (GPDP).
He also indicated that more cameras would be put up after the fourth phase of the installation has been completed.
The policy secretary made the remarks at the Chinese-language radio station of government broadcaster TDM in Zape after attending a phone-in programme earlier in the morning.
He said that 820 cameras would be installed in the first three phases while the remaining 800 cameras would be installed afterwards. He said that the first phase was still in progress while he expected the fourth phase to focus on places along the city’s coast and the University of Macau (UM) campus on Hengqin to deter people from entering the city illegally.
“I think that we need to look for potential problems as we install the cameras. Of course, we can’t say that all crime-related issues will be solved afterwards,” said Wong. “Therefore, if necessary, there may be a fifth or even a sixth [installation] phase in the future.”
Some callers to the phone-in programme expressed concern that the installation of CCTV cameras means that residents’ personal lives will be under constant scrutiny by the authorities and their privacy may be infringed.
Responding to the concern, Wong said there were regulations in place that authorities have to comply with when setting up the cameras and using the footage.
“When we install the cameras, we have to follow what the Personal Data Protection Office stipulates, so from installing to using [the cameras], we are regulated by the law,” said Wong, stressing that the GPDP guidelines arelegally binding.
“So I want to ask, how much power do we get [from installing the cameras]? Not that much. We exercise it if necessary and when the law permits.” (macaunews/macaupost)