“Democracy at risk” – data protection officials warn of cities under video surveillance


On Wednesday, data protection officers in front of the Heldentor in central Vienna drew attention to the dangers to the population of video surveillance in the inner city. The fundamental rights platform “epicenter.works” sees a new amendment to the traffic rules, which allows video surveillance of the entrances to Vienna’s first district and many other inner cities, as a threat to democracy.

“If there really is video surveillance for traffic calming measures, the Minister of the Interior will be able to view every demo in the future,” the platform said in a broadcast. The police already have the legal basis for live access to the surveillance videos.

Of particular concern is that there are many government buildings in the center of Vienna, which could deter protesters from pursuing their right to freedom of expression in the form of pre-rallies.

Traffic calming can also be done without supervision
“If the cameras are approved by the new StVO for traffic control, we will be threatened with monitored city centers all over Austria. Because other Austrian cities have already expressed interest in such a monitoring system,” the data protection officials warned. Traffic calming works differently, for example through structural measures, parking management or low-traffic inner cities.

Source: Krone


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