With a lot of domestic CCTV systems on the market to help protect your home. If you’re considering have one fitted, you will need to make sure that you do so in a way that respects the privacy of others.
You may have heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 more often used in the workplace for the protection of employees and customers, but these legislations apply to anyone who is collecting data.
If your system is set up to only capture images within the boundary of your private domestic property including your garden, then the data protection laws will not apply to you. But if your system captures images of people outside that boundary such as a neighbour’s garden or public footpath you will need to ensure that your use of CCTV complies with these laws.
What must you do if you are capturing images of people outside your property boundary?
Firstly, you must have a clear and justifiable reason for doing so, in particular thinking about why you need the have these images should you be questioned by an information commissioner officer (ICO) or an individual.
You will also need to:
- Display signs around the property to advise that recording is taking place, and why.
- Don’t capture more footage than what is necessary to achieve your purpose for having the system in place.
- Ensure that any footage captured is held securely so that nobody can watch it without justifiable reason to.
- Only keep footage recorded for as long you need it, clear the history regularly or when you no longer have a reason to keep hold of it.
- Ensure that the system is only used for its intended purpose and is not misused by anyone that has access to it.
You need to respect the data protection right of the people whose images you may capture. This includes:
- Individuals have a right to access any personal data that you hold on to them, this includes images where they are identifiable. If you receive a subject access request verbally or in writing, you must respond within one month by giving them a copy of the data.
- You must delete footage of anyone who asks you to do so unless you need to keep it for a legal case. In this instance you need to refer the individual to the ICO.
Who are the ICO?
The information commissioner’s office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for Data Protections and Freedom of Information. It has key responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as well as other related legislation.
What happens if you break the law?
Failure to comply with the law can lead to enforcement action by the ICO, usually a fine. You can also be subject court claims by individuals who file for compensation. If you follow the guidance and comply with the data protection obligations its it unlikely that you will have any action taken against you.
What else do you need to consider?
- Prior to installing any CCTV system consider speaking with your neighbours to let them know what your plans are and listen to any complaints or suggestions they might have.
- A Domestic CCTV system refers to any use of video surveillance mounted/fixed onto your property; this will apply to cameras inside doorbells.
- Never publicly upload or stream footage of identifiable people captured by your system.
- Maintain records of how and why you are capturing images and how long you hold them for. These records can be requested by the ICO.