TECH CENTRAL: Vumacam wins ‘spy camera’ court case against city

21st August 2020

Vumacam, the company rolling out a network of high-definition security cameras across Johannesburg, has won a court battle it brought against the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), with the court finding that the agency’s decision to stop issuing wayleaves to the company earlier this year was unlawful.

The JRA was reportedly worried Vumacam’s cameras would be used beyond their stated purpose of fighting crime and was concerned it was using them to spy on innocent people.

In a high court ruling handed down on Thursday, it was found that the decision from the JRA to “suspend the consideration of aerial and CCTV wayleave applications” was “unlawful and invalid”.

The court directed the JRA to proceed with the consideration and determination of wayleave applications within seven days of the order and further said that the agency should provide reasons to Vumacam if applications are refused in the future.

“Vumacam acknowledged that while the protection of data and privacy has always been a priority for Vumacam, it is not the JRA’s responsibility or legal right to suspend decision making on wayleaves for this reason,” said CEO Ricky Croock.

Right to privacy

“We take the protection of data and privacy rights very seriously and have ensured significant measures to exceed not only local by-laws and regulations but also international standards on privacy.”

The court also found that there was no disputing that Vumacam complies with the legislative prescripts set out in the Protection of Personal Information Act when it comes to protecting individuals’ rights to privacy.

“Our doors are always open to any party or individual who wants to learn more about our operations and we are pleased that with this ruling we are able to address the equally important constitutional rights of citizens to be kept safe from the unrelenting impact of crime in South Africa,” Croock said in a statement.

Source: Tech Central