The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says to use your system responsibly to protect the privacy others; this means doing everything you can to minimise potential intrusions of privacy. If you fail to comply with data protection laws, you may be subject to a fine by the ICO or legal action by affected individuals. So, when deciding on the positions of your cameras, ask yourself the following:
- Does the range of the recorded images include my neighbours’ property?
- Do my cameras capture their day-to-day activities / their home or garden?
- How will they feel about my CCTV?
- Do I need to record the images, or will a live feed suffice?
- Are there any locations where I can position my cameras to avoid intruding on my neighbours’ property, as well as shared or public areas?
If your system is recording images beyond what is considered to be private domestic property – defined as the boundary of your home property, including the garden – you should be able to provide a justifiable reason as to why, in the event of an inquiry from an individual or the ICO. To avoid potential disputes, it may be beneficial to discuss your decision to install CCTV with your neighbours prior to implementation and to consider any concerns they might have; you might also display the relevant signage. Also, if your system is recording such images, ensure that they are stored securely and viewed only for the purposes of your property’s protection, and remember to delete the footage regularly. Maintain a record of how long (and why) you are keeping the images.
With this mind, know that whilst your use of a private domestic CCTV system may be acceptable, streaming or uploading footage of identifiable people would need additional explanation, and is more likely to be declared an unacceptable use of your system.
People have the right to access any footage that you record of them, and they may request the images either verbally or in writing. They may ask that you delete recorded images of them, which should be done within one month of their request, though it is permissible to keep the images if they are needed for a legal dispute, and it is your responsibility to tell to the individual concerned. In the event of a disagreement, explain to the individual that they may challenge your decision in court or by making a complaint to the ICO.
For more advice or for a copy of our detailed ‘Complying with GDPR’ handbook , please contact Kerry Jones 01942 366291.