Drones carrying CCTV cameras to start patrolling sensitive forest areas in Portugal

Drones fitted with CCTV cameras are to start patrolling sensitive forest areas IN Portugal – the idea being to facilitate detection of any kind of suspicious activity, and thus protect against the habitual summer wildfire scourge.

Secretary of State Isabel Oneto has signed a dispatch which authorises the use of nine portable CCTV systems by drones, to be used in specific locations, particularly areas with a history of fires, during the years 2016-2021, and those covered by any daily heat warnings issued by IPMA (meteorological institute).

A statement put out by the ministry of internal administration explains that due to data protection legislation, “the system of video vigilance must observe the following conditions:
• It is not permitted to capture or record sound
• Use of cameras has to be publicised in advance
• Drones have to be operated at an average altitude of 100 metres from the ground
• Systems have to cease vigilance as soon as means of response are actioned, in case of a fire
• The right to private life has to be safeguarded by the capturing of any images
• Communications between district operational commands must be guaranteed while drones are being used
• All operational anomalies must be registered, and preserved for a minimum period of two years”.
The dispatch comes after Interior Minister José Luís Carneiro warned arsonists that authorities mean business.