FAQs: Private surveillance on residential property
What is CCTV surveillance?
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a video surveillance technology. It is increasingly being used by public authorities, private businesses and private individuals. There are different forms of the technology, with the latest technology including facial recognition technology and other forms of ‘smart’ surveillance.
What restrictions are there on CCTV surveillance?
There is currently no legislation in force regulating CCTV surveillance in the UK. There is, however, a CCTV Code of Practice. Additionally, the use of CCTV surveillance is indirectly regulated through the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 as well as provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Can I set up a camera on my property?
Private individuals can set up a camera on their property. Often, individuals wish to set up surveillance cameras for security purposes, such as to capture evidence of robberies and intrusions. Other individuals, who have issues with their neighbours, set up cameras to capture evidence of their neighbours’ behaviour. However, it is important to not infringe others privacy rights. Complaints about inappropriate surveillance may be made to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
What are the rights of UK citizens to privacy?
Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 sets out the rights of UK citizens to respect for their private and family life, home and correspondence. Individuals who believe their right to privacy has been infringed may take legal action under the Act. It may be possible to make a legal claim if the camera is pointing into your property or is otherwise excessively intrusive. Cameras that point onto the street are normally not in breach of privacy laws.
What obligations arise if the Data Protection Act applies?
Businesses who use surveillance on their premises will need to comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. The business must register as a data controller with the Information Commissioner's Office. The business must also put up signs on the premises notifying people that CCTV is in use. Limitations apply to how long footage may be stored and to whom it may be disclosed. Moreover, individuals who wish to see footage taken of them may request copies of it on payment of a charge.
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- Last Updated on 29/11/2012