Home CCTV Systems
ICO’s Guidance for People being filmed
The ICO in the UK is the Information Commissioner’s Office, who manages advice and enforcement of data protection. In this article, we will review the ICO’s advice for Home CCTV Systems and the protection of personal data collected and stored.
CCTV and Peoples Privacy
If you’re thinking of installing a home CCTV system, specifically to cover the exterior of your home, you comply with the guidance from the ICO. This means making sure that your cameras aren’t pointed at public spaces, or other people’s homes or gardens.
UK Data protection laws don’t usually apply if the CCTV Systems cover only the user’s own private property, including their garden and outbuildings. Therefore, visitors caught on these cameras don’t have specific data protection rights in relation to the images captured on those cameras.
However if the cameras capture images of people outside the boundary of the user’s property – for example, in neighbours’ homes or gardens, in shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street? Then neighbours, passers-by and anyone else caught on camera will have rights under the data protection laws.
Capturing and recording such images is not itself a breach of the data protection laws. But CCTV users must ensure they comply with these laws and respect the data protection rights of people whose images they capture.
This applies to any video surveillance equipment mounted or fixed on a home, and can include cameras fitted into doorbells.
We would generally suggest a conversation with your neighbours if your recordings will include part of their land, your neighbours may share the same concerns as you and it’s not uncommon for neighbours to share the cost of CCTV systems where the extra protection measures meet a common purpose.
What are my rights?
The ICO provides the following advice, regarding people’s data protection rights when they are being recorded on Home Security Systems. If you are filmed on someone’s domestic CCTV system, which is capturing images outside the boundary of their home, the data protection laws give you several rights.
In particular, you have the following rights:
- To be told that a home CCTV system is being used. The CCTV user must let people know they have CCTV. Signs are the most common way of doing this. They must be clearly visible and legible.
- To ask for a copy of the information that is held about you. This is known as making a subject access request. You can ask verbally or in writing for copies of any footage where your image is identifiable. The CCTV user must respond to this request within one month and can make a nominal charge of up to £10 for this service. Bear in mind that if they regularly delete footage they no longer need, they might not hold your images.
- To ask the CCTV user to erase any personal data they hold about you.
- To ask that the CCTV user does not capture any footage of you in the future. However, the nature of CCTV systems may make this very difficult and it might not be possible for the user to do this.
Remember that if the CCTV system focuses only on the user’s home, the data protection laws don’t apply and the above rights won’t apply to you.
In most cases CCTV cameras are installed around a private home to monitor and protect personal property, and to ensure the safety of the user and their family. Normally, the images captured will only be used to identify individuals after an incident. The images are then passed to the police or to insurance companies if there’s a claim. Any organisation receiving images, such as the police or insurers, must comply with the data protection laws in how they handle and use this information.
We know CCTV systems can feel intrusive – especially if they capture images outside the boundary of the home owners property. This is why the ICO have published guidance for domestic CCTV users. The guidance gives good-practice tips and reminds users of their obligations under the data protection laws.
To Find out more about the ICO, Data Protection and why your data matters please click here
About Direct CCTV Systems
Direct CCTV Systems specialise in providing home CCTV and home security systems for homeowners and small businesses. Our goal is to understand the precise needs of each customer and design a solution specific to each customer’s needs. 24×7 Security.
Address: 13A Main St, Catcliffe, Rotherham S60 5SR
Phone:: 01709 803949
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