Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Question on High-rise Littering Cameras
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment how does the Ministry ensure that the surveillance cameras used to detect high-rise littering do not intrude into people’s privacy.
In the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) deployment of optical surveillance cameras for high-rise littering enforcement, safeguards have been put in place to mitigate residents’ privacy concerns. The nature of the offence allows NEA to focus the cameras on the external façade of buildings where surveillance is being carried out, often at an angle either above or below the unit of interest, rather than looking directly into individual units.
In the first instance, NEA will always look for vantage points at the ground level for camera deployments. Only if such a site cannot be found, would NEA source for vantage points in adjacent blocks, and if a site can be found, deploy our camera there. As a result, the majority of our camera deployments for surveillance of high-rise littering acts are conducted at the ground level. This SOP further minimises the instances of a surveillance camera looking directly into housing units.