An internal police review has found the operation of Scotland's CCTV systems risks violating privacy laws.
A new investigative journalism website, The Ferret, uncovered the results of the review.
The review found that much of the camera network used to aid law enforcement is obsolete, relying on technology such as VHS tape to record images.
It recommended a £10m investment in digital equipment.
As part of its review, Police Scotland surveyed 31 of Scotland's 32 local authorities. It found that 12 did not have an internal audit mechanism "to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act".
The police review proposed a revamped and centrally-coordinated network with high definition cameras linked to a new police computer system known as i6.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the proposal "poses a number of questions about privacy".
The Scottish government said its national strategy for public space CCTV "facilitates a more strategic approach to CCTV development and management for local partners".
CCTV cameras for law enforcement in Scotland were first introduced in Airdrie in 1991.
There are now about 3,000 cameras in use. But 80% of them rely on analogue technology which is out of date, with spare parts increasingly difficult to obtain.
The current and capital expenditure on the cameras is reported to total nearly £30m each year, split between local authorities and the police.
The gathering, control, storing and use of video images is covered by the 1998 Data Protection Act. And organisations that breach the act may be fined upto £500 000
The full report may be read on the bbc website