What You Can And Can’t Record With Your Personal CCTV
If you are considering investing in a CCTV system for your home or commercial space or already have one, it can be handy to know what you can and can’t do with it. A CCTV system includes the CCTV camera, storage, recording and all associated equipment.
You have the right to protect your property, which a CCTV system can help with significantly. Using CCTV as a security measure is a very sensible option as long as it is operated responsibly and is respectful of others’ privacy.
It may seem reasonable to safeguard your home, but the number of complaints from members of the public or peoples’ neighbours is on the increase. Complaints are often made by neighbours who believe that the CCTV systems are being used to impeach their privacy and spy on them.
To ensure that you use your CCTV effectively and respectfully, take a look at the vital information you should be aware of when adopting CCTV home security, including your legal responsibilities.
The need for CCTV cameras to protect your property and provide you with the peace of mind of having state-of-the-art surveillance technology to keep your home secure is protected by UK law.
However, there is a responsibility for the CCTV operator to comply with existing statutes on an individuals’ right to privacy.
The Data Protection Act (DPA) also covers the use of CCTV surveillance and gives an individual the right to access information held about them; this includes recordings obtained via CCTV if these have been taken in a public place.
Domestic CCTV installations are largely exempt from most of the legislation and provisions; however, you must ensure that your cameras are installed not to record footage of any public areas such as a public right of way that crosses your land or across your boundaries. The SCC acknowledges that you have a right to protect your property using a CCTV system. Still, it is your responsibility to ensure that, in doing so, you are respecting other people’s right to privacy.
As the homeowner and operator, it is essential to note that you are personally responsible for ensuring that your CCTV home security system is fully compliant with the following guidelines. It is essential that you only choose a CCTV installer who is fully conversant with the latest regulations on home security.
Suppose your CCTV installation has any view outside of your own property’s perimeter. In that case, you should make this transparent to those around you by putting up a notice informing people that your CCTV system is recording footage and informing your neighbours about your CCTV system.
If your CCTV camera(s) captures images from outside the confines of your property, then those images are subject to the DPA. Even if your CCTV system is not focused on areas outside your property, you should let your neighbours know so you can assure them that there is no invasion of their privacy. Doing this in advance can reduce any potential conflict when your system is live.
You are responsible that your CCTV home security system is correctly installed and for all of the information recorded by that system. The information obtained from your CCTV system must not be used for any purposes other than protecting your property. You may record any aspect of your property as long as it does not contravene any privacy laws to your neighbours and members of the public.
You may not record any conversations between members of the public.
You should make sure that the date and time programmed into your CCTV system are accurate and that you have sufficient storage space for recording. You should not store data longer than is necessary, and you must regularly delete the information you have obtained once it is no longer required.
You should only use images and information obtained via your CCTV for the purposes for which the system was originally intended.
You should check your camera’s position from time to time to ensure that the focus field is still as installed. A regular check should ensure that you do not inadvertently capture images from outside of the cameras original scope. It is also worth having a regular maintenance check on your CCTV system,
CCTV home security is often installed to deter criminal and anti-social behaviour, yet the police, ICO, and SCC receive complaints from the public and neighbours about home installations. The most common complaint is from neighbours claiming that cameras are being used to spy on them and their properties. To avoid this kind of problem, you must ensure your CCTV home security system has been installed by a professional company that can advise on the guidelines to protect others’ privacy.
If you operate a security camera outside of the law, you can be subject to enforcement action from the ICO, including a fine. Also, individuals can take you to court and sue for compensation if you’re unfairly recording them or their property.
CCTV is an excellent tool to protect your property, but as all security cameras capture private information, it’s essential to use any system responsibly.
If you have any further questions or concerns about your CCTV system, contact one of our team of security professionals today to discuss your requirements.
Tel: 0333 335 35 36
51 Geoffrey Blackwell Close, Coggeshall CO6 1FP, United Kingdom