Westfield Shopping Centre’s 2nd Reply

Received the email as below, but I don’t agree with something.. please take a look at my comments and let me have your views, whether you think there are any further points/considerations before I reply.

Dear …..

Further to yesterday’s email, I am writing to update you on my enquiries and respond to your comments and concerns.

It is indeed Westfield London policy to restrict photography in the centre and there are signs at all entrances to the mall indicating that such actions are prohibited. This is a practice now common to many shopping centres. It is not enforced simply to prevent images being used for external commercial purposes but to ensure the security of the building, our staff and our guests.

Security staff are instructed to approach guests who do attempt to take photographs and explain our policy in a clear and calm manner. Please accept my apologies on behalf of Westfield London if you felt the security representative in question did not speak to you in an appropriate manner.

Of course, given the large amount of traffic through the centre, we are not always able to monitor all use of cameras.

LG>>So if the real criminals want to take photos for whatever reasons, they will be able to anyway! so what’s the point.

We are aware that Westfield London is a destination shopping venue and that many guests may wish to keep a record of their time here. As such, we do attempt to exercise some discretion.

LG>>This says to me that they allow ‘some’ people to take photos and would apply restriction if they saw something illegal or suspicious, this is understandable but then their rule should say ‘We reserve the right to refuse photography’ and if they do prevent someone (like me) then they would need to explain on what ground, otherwise it would be wrong to pick on people based on their ‘look’ or colour or race etc..

In response to your queries about CCTV, I would like to advise you that footage is stored for a period of 30 days, but we are unable to release any footage to members of the public.

LG>>I want them to give me the footage of the incident, there would be no other public in the clip (as very few people about), I am going to look into this, as I thought under DPA I could ask for this. The CCTV DPA here provides a clear understanding that a person could make a ‘Subject Request’ and they have to provide it. http://www.cctv-information.co.uk/i/The_Data_Protection_Act_and_CCTV

Westfield London endeavours to provide all guests with a service and experience of world-class standards. I am very sorry if you feel we have not met these standards on this occasion.

I do hope this explanation answers your queries.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any further questions or queries.

Kind regards,

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12 Responses to Westfield Shopping Centre’s 2nd Reply

  1. Tod Hunter says:

    Not entirely sure Freedom Of Information Act applies to non-government agencies but go for it.

    –t

  2. umacf24 says:

    Sorry: it’s unlikely that untagged video would fall under DPA; it’s highly unlikely to be PID. Maybe if you were carrying a sign with your name on it…
    And Westfield is a not the government (though in their domain, they pretend to be) — FoI has no impact on them.
    They would give up CCTV to the police, or to a court order, but that’s probably about it.

    Without a contract relationship, you have to work quite hard to force people to apply rules fairly. I personally would be a little concerned that they were holding you to a standard of behaviour that they would not impose on a person with a lighter skin colour. That sort of thing is deplorably widespread, especially when a corporation is relying on the judgement of a minimum-wage “security guard”. I suppose that would be grounds for a complaint under the 2010 Equality Act or something earlier. But actually doing that is a little outside my area.

  3. Brian says:

    LG,

    Did you see any such signs posted as they claim? Or are those signs being put up after the fact?

  4. ladygod1va says:

    Thank you for your help so far. I have updated the post to remove ref to FOI and provided a link to the CCTV DPA that provides what appears to me to be quite a clear understanding that Westfield are required to respond to a ‘Subject Request’, in fact they are supposed to provide a ‘form’ for people to use. I am going to take this further only because I think our freedom to do what is ‘normal’ is being eroded slowly and these organisations should be made to understand the law of the land.

  5. Jim says:

    @umacf24 I don’t think you are correct. There is plenty of information on the web about how to go about requesting CCTV from private companies.

    As far as I’m aware, all LG has to do is to describe herself, what she was wearing, the location of the incident and the approximate time and Westfield must give her a copy of the CCTV. If they do not, they are in breach of the DPA. It would appear that they are already in breach for having refused to give the CCTV in the first place. They should have told her that she should write a proper Subject Access Request, possibly even providing a proforma for the purpose, along with a cheque for £10 and they’ll hand it over.

  6. umacf24 says:

    You can certainly try a subject access request, but I doubt it’ll yield the video content you want, because it’s not indexed or organised in a way that make the data personal…

  7. James says:

    The Freedom of Information Act doesn’t apply as Westfield are a private company not a public body. You need to make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act which will cost you £10. There’s lots of useful detail on the Information Commissioner’s website – http://www.ico.gov.uk – Type CCTV into the site’s website and lots of useful stuff will come up

  8. Jim says:

    @umacf24 if you are identifiable in it, it’s your personal data.

    A company refused to provide CCTV footage of me on private property and the ICO ruled in my favour.

  9. terri says:

    may have been worth asking beforehand, if could take a pic.. (out of hours?)

  10. Rafael says:

    I don’t know what’s worst: to live in a world so paranoid that even a simple action as taking a photo seems potentially a threat, or to be under the judgment of those security personnel just because of external factors, like appearence, color, etc.

    Sad world. :/

  11. Neeils says:

    Whatever happened with this? I was subject to a crime and am now looking into requesting cctv footage as the police have decided not to take it any further – surprise, surprise!

    • ladygod1va says:

      This highlighted the fact that they didn’t have a system to handle FOI and DPA requests, they corrected it by introducing the forms which I was sent to complete. At the same time they changed the Notices & their policy on this. So there was no point in obtaining the footage. If you wish to do something, you should do it as soon as possible as video footages are only kept for a short period of time.

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