Internet Eyes has launched a web-based CCTV service cameras allowing members of the public to monitor crime from their desktops at home.
The Devon-based company has launched a new website that allows residents in South Western England to monitor activity on the streets with the CCTV monitoring plan amid controversy, reports The Sun.
The company has offered a £1,000 reward for the vigilante who can highlight a number of crimes through live CCTV video footage of shops and other community centres, which will be streamed to their personal computers every month.
A spokesperson for Internet Eyes said, "all too often criminals get away with crime because, although their activity is monitored by CCTV, it is not observed at the time of the offence but only later on reviewing the footage when it is too late to stop commission of the crime."
The plan will run on a trial-basis for up to three months in 12 shops, allowing the voyeurs to keep an eye on shoplifters.
The service, however, has increased concerns of privacy among regulators and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which has called the service distasteful.
A spokesperson for ICO has said, "Our CCTV code of practise makes it clear that CCTV operators should use appropriately trained staff to monitor images. We will be checking to ensure it has followed this and investigate any complaints we receive."
"We have provided advice to Internet Eyes on its own data protection compliance. We will be checking to ensure it has followed this and investigate any complaints we receive."
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