Surveillance cameras are spread in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, with unparalleled chaos. While the responsibility of who manages the data produced by those cameras is unclear, an even bigger question is, what purpose do they serve? The Municipality of Beirut operates more than two thousand public cameras, which record videos of the general public. Additionally, there are numerous cameras in public places that belong to private parties.
This surveillance project was flawed from its inception, beginning of their installation: the project was granted through mutual consent to the company “Guardia Systems” at a heavy cost of 36 million dollars, which was the subject of suspicions of corruption. While these cameras are still in operation and continuously violating the privacy of the population, doubts about the extent of their respect for laws and privacy has been growing. Most recently, there has been a large dispute between the Beirut municipality and a General Security apparatus over the cameras and the authority to operate them.
In the light of the uncertainty surrounding the legal framework regarding the protection of personal data in Lebanon, our organization will map these cameras in order to pursue legal ways to limit their penetration and breach of the privacy of citizens.
SMEX invites you to participate in identifying surveillance cameras in Beirut using the OpenStreetMap. We will learn how to use open maps before we start placing the cameras on the map according to this video:
Before starting work on OpenStreetMap, we request that you take the following steps:
1- Go to www.openstreetmap.org and create an account. Don’t use your real name (but you can register using your real email, and you can also create another fake email for this).
2- Familiarize yourself with OSM:
.For iPhone users, download “Go Map”: apps.apple.com/us/app/go-map/id592990211
.For Android users, download “OsmAnd”: play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.osmand&hl=en
4-Login to the application using your OpenStreetMap credentials. Use the video guide above to start recording the locations of cameras. Read more: