VUMACAM – YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Vumacam is a joint venture between Vumatel and Imfezeko Holdings and it is our aim to make public space CCTV surveillance a truly effective tool to address crime, contribute to safer environments and bring neighbourhoods together.
Connected networks help drive smarter, closer collaboration between communities, and independent security companies from different areas to secure the streets where South Africans live, work and play.
Vumacam is Africa’s provider of the largest video management-as-a-service solution. We deploy a high-quality camera solution strategically across entire suburbs on a solid fibre network to ensure a consistent, reliable and quality feed.
We have received numerous queries and interest from the public and have identified a few of the most popular questions posed to us.
What are the cameras for?
Vumacam realised that the multitude of disparate CCTV cameras across the city, often independently put up by security companies, individuals or residential groups to feel more secure – was failing. These camera solutions did not speak to each other, creating “islands” of uncovered suburbs adjacent to covered suburbs. Furthermore, the cameras were often not linked to fibre (rendering grainy unusable footage) and regularly found to be broken only when trying to retrieve feed after a criminal incident had happened.
Being islands they could not provide advance warning to other security providers or neighbouring communities nor could they truly track vehicles of interest (VOI) roaming their neighbourhoods. These vehicles linked to criminal activity, would disappear outside of the camera network and move on to another area and commit more crimes.
The proliferation of fibre networks at scale in South Africa was a game changer and presented an opportunity to address this problem. Vumacam envisions a city-watch solution, whereby security companies and communities are stimulated to work together on a common platform, sharing information between areas.
Do residents pay for the cameras? If not, are there any instances where they will have to pay?
The cameras have most often been commissioned on request by a security company and placed in locations determined in conjunction with the security company to provide optimal camera coverage. The specific security company pays Vumacam for access to the feed, eliminating the need to build out their own camera network infrastructure.
Vumacam does not charge any residents, and does not enter into any contracts with residents.
Can I have access to the footage from a Vumacam. Who has access to the footage captured by the Vumacams? Will it only be used by private security firms or will the police be allowed to use it as well?
Law enforcement will have access to feed on submission of a case number or upon court order.
Please note – The dissemination of the footage recorded by Vumacam on its Smart Camera Network falls within the definition of ‘processing’ in terms of POPIA. Accordingly, any sharing of footage by Vumacam is regulated by POPIA, and Vumacam and the party receiving the footage must comply with the numerous safeguards built into POPIA to ensure that no third-party data subject’s rights are infringed.
For this purpose, when Vumacam contracts with third party entities who wish to monitor Vumacam CCTV footage, those third parties must enter into detailed agreements and show that they are, and will remain, compliant with the requirements of POPIA.
Footage is never simply released by Vumacam without such assurances. One exception to the above is that any data subject may request access to any footage on which they have been captured (see section 23 of POPIA), subject to compliance with the requirements of POPIA.
Handing over footage to any third party can only be done where it is for a specific, explicitly defined lawful purpose. The recipient of such personal information would similarly be required to show that it complies with the provisions of POPIA relating to the protection, retention and destruction of such information (see sections 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19 and 22 as examples of some of the requirements which any responsible party must comply with).
The above precludes Vumacam for making its CCTV footage available to members of the public generally.
Are the Vumacam poles illegal?
The City of Joburg is currently drawing up a CCTV policy, and have a CCTV reaction unit, and have implemented millions of Rands of CCTV surveillance cameras themselves.
All relevant bylaws are adhered to by Vumacam who only installs poles once wayleaves have been approved. Furthermore, Vumacam has taken advice from many legal firms as to the legality of the installations. Vumacam continues to engage with relevant stakeholders and welcomes discussion with any interested party.
We have created a detailed help centre with a host of other questions and answers that may provide greater insight into why we believe that innovation is the proactive response to crime. Visit https://help.vumacam.co.za/hc/en-gb for more.
This article is written by Vumacam and is being posted in the interest of the community and is NOT a sponsored post.