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Police to access CCTV in malls and supermarkets

Owners of malls, supermarkets and other commercial enterprises serving large numbers of people will soon be required to link their CCTV feeds to law enforcement agencies.

The Ministry of ICT is drafting regulations that, among others, will deal with the perceived invasion of privacy that the move brings.

“This is critical and I’d like Kenyans to understand that it is necessary as we can no longer take issues of our security lightly,” said the ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

The move will give security agencies a view of activities across installations frequented by the public and which have been maintaining their CCTV footage in-house.

The requirement for offline access to the footage comes in the wake of the September 21 Westgate Mall attack in which about 70 people died.

It has prompted a rethinking of handling security in crowded areas.

The ministry together with the Nairobi County government has also formed a team to spearhead a programme to have all commercial buildings become ICT compliant.

Beginning January next year, all commercial buildings’ plans will have to incorporate ICT infrastructure (Internet ducts and CCTV) before they can receive county approval.

“We are getting to a point where as a county, our Physical Planning Act is going to insist that they (building plans) must be compliant with providing communication and technological infrastructure just the way we insist on other utilities like water and electricity,” said Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.