Government of Canada officials say they are planning to introduce legislation to regulate video cameras that record live events.
The move comes after a survey of Canadian video cameras found that most consumers and companies don’t want them in their homes.
The new legislation would ban the use of any “self-recording video camera in public spaces,” a proposal that could be interpreted as allowing drones to take video of anything, from a wedding to a funeral.
The bill is being drafted by the Industry, Innovation and Skills Strategy Committee, which is made up of ministers from industry, government and other stakeholders.
The committee’s chairman is the Minister of Industry and Skills, which was established in 2015.
The government says the regulations would apply to all types of video cameras and drones, including those that use “microcontrollers.”
But the committee is not proposing any specific rules or regulations, so much as a framework for consideration.
“This bill is about taking a look at all types and sizes of video camera systems, including drones, and make sure that we’re following industry best practices,” says Industry Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk.
“The purpose of this legislation is to protect Canadians’ privacy and to encourage innovation, and to help the industry innovate and get better.”
The committee also said it would look into ways to encourage companies to install cameras that can transmit video and other data on-demand.
“It’s important that we have a framework in place so that we can understand how they’re doing, and what the risks are,” says committee chair Richard Friesen.
“We’re trying to look at this issue from a consumer’s perspective and also from an industry’s perspective.”
Frieseen says it’s important for businesses to understand that cameras can record footage without the need for a third party to upload it.
But he says there is still a lot of uncertainty around what kind of data is captured by the cameras.
“There are no standards around the world that require that any kind of video be captured,” he says.
“In the United States, they don’t even require it, so the question is how do we make sure we’re getting the right kind of footage?”
“This is something that we will look at, as well, if we need to,” says Mihyschuk.
While the committee wants to create a framework around the industry, it’s not clear how much government will actually regulate the industry.
Some of the proposals from the committee have already been made public.
Mihschuk says she is not aware of any new proposals from government.
“I think we’ve heard a lot from the private sector and industry, but not much from government,” she says.
The Department of Industry, Skills and Innovation says it has been working with the industry to develop the regulations.
“Video cameras are the new cameras,” says an Industry and Innovation official.
“And we want to ensure they’re in the hands of the right people and the right industries.
We want to make sure they’re safe and secure and they’re legal and regulated properly.”