In October 2014, a word of warning was voiced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding the use of CCTV security systems.
December then bought us news that Tony Porter, the Government’s surveillance camera commissioner, would be releasing new guidelines on camera use for home security. He explained, “The concerns are primarily about the intrusion into a neighbour’s privacy.”
Businesses have long been following rules and regulations to allow CCTV operation on premises, but what are the rules for CCTV security at home?
We’ve compiled a quick and easy domestic CCTV guide for home-owners to consider.
You can use our tips to ensure your security cameras are neighbour-friendly!
Home security and the Data Protection Act (1998) – a Domestic CCTV Guide
Section 36 of the Data Protection Act states that personal data, including video footage for home security, is not covered by DPA restrictions. However, the DPA does cover issues regarding individuals captured on property that is public or not the home-owners own legal property.
Remember: The DPA is just a guide, there are additional exceptions and regulations. The Human Rights Act (1998) covers other possible CCTV dilemmas, such as an individual’s right to privacy.
- You must be aware of the Human Rights Act 1998 legislation.
- You must be aware of rules regarding harassment law in the UK.
- Cameras must be correctly positioned on domestic property to ensure no violation of privacy is possible.
Domestic CCTV and DPA restrictions
Here are some important facts to remember about domestic CCTV restrictions.
- Continuous recording could be seen as a Data Protection Act violation in a court of law.
- It is not advised to use CCTV to film evidence for neighbourly disputes. This could be considered a violation of privacy as the individual recorded would not be aware of the presence of CCTV.
- Does your camera’s view cover part of a public footpath or alley? Surveillance of public spaces must be clearly labelled.
For more information, see the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice at GOV.UK
CCTV – To protect the public or deter burglars
The government surveillance code states, “The purpose of the code will be to ensure that individuals and wider communities have confidence that surveillance cameras are deployed to protect and support them, rather than spy on them. The government considers that wherever overt surveillance in public places is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and meets a pressing need, any such surveillance should be characterised as surveillance by consent, and such consent on the part of the community must be informed consent and not assumed by a system operator.”
- Informed consent must be given – tell your surrounding neighbours that you are thinking of installing a home security system.
- Safeguarding privacy must be considered before installation.
- Domestic CCTV should be used for its original purposes only – to capture evidence on the owners property or deter crime.
- Assess the positioning of your domestic cameras, they must be able to capture only your property.
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