Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
April 13, 2021

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IFSEC Interviews

WATCH: Interview with Biometrics & Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Fraser Sampson

Now a month into the role, Fraser Sampson is conversing with industry to prioritise plans in the new combined position of the UK Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner. IFSEC Global recently got the chance to sit down with Fraser to discuss his view of the challenges ahead, and his intentions for working with the expertise of the private security industry to help guide standards.

“While contentious, the issues covered in the role are enormously interesting and important to everyone,” notes Fraser Sampson, as we sit down to discuss how the first five weeks of his posting as Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner has progressed.

Certainly, with the role now combined to cover everything from DNA profiles to the use of facial recognition, there will be much covered in the remit of the new role. As Fraser discusses in the interview below, there are increasingly obvious overlapping considerations between biometrics data and the use of surveillance cameras, which are often the primary device for capture points.

Continuing his predecessor’s work (Tony Porter), Fraser will be working “closely and regularly” with private security bodies. He highlights the importance of the security sectors in understanding what is technologically achievable for devices: “There is no substitute for hearing from the organisations and individuals that are using this technology, and separating myth from fact, which can help focus industry standards on technology such as ANPR and facial recognition software.”

What the tech is actually being used for day-to-day is crucial to formulate best practice guidance and standards for how it is used, particularly in public spaces, explains Fraser.

The discussion also covers the importance of Secure by Default – the self-certification scheme launched by Tony Porter at IFSEC International in 2019 to allow manufacturers of surveillance camera devices and components to demonstrate that products meet minimum security requirements. “Security as a design feature from the word ‘go’ must go hand-in-hand with the product or service being put forward, as well as people’s trust in it. There is an increasing need to understand the levels and layers of security that are built-in to products – and the time to do that is at the design stage, rather than as a bolt-on as a response.”

Finally, we discuss the challenges the Commissioner’s Office expects to witness in the near future. Ultimately, as Fraser explains, any new technology needs users to think carefully about how they use it – new tech is now able to work as it is designed to work, but there must be considerations for how it is used in a responsible and justified manner.

Watch the full interview on Youtube, or below (may take a few seconds to load)…

Fraser Sampson will be joining us at IFSEC Connect 2021, as we discuss the current challenges, threats and opportunities in the video surveillance sector, alongside the major trends, in an exclusive webinar on the subject. More details will soon follow, but be sure to keep an eye on IFSEC International to keep up to date with all the latest! 

Read Fraser’s introduction message to the industry in his first blog post as Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, here.

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