Have you recently fitted a CCTV system to cover your home and garden? Or a new door bell that incorporates a video camera? Did you know that there are things you must be aware of to stay within data protection laws if you install a domestic CCTV system?
If you have a business or business premises, then please see another blog. I’m only discussing domestic CCTV systems here.
Capturing and recording is not, in itself, a breach of data protection law as long as you only record within your boundary. If this is the case, good news – you can fit and forget, film and record as you will. The data protection laws do not apply to you.
But do you know where your boundaries are?
Your boundary is your home and garden only. It is not your neighbour’s home or garden, nor anything outside your property boundary, including a public pavement or road.
If your camera records images from the street or captures images of passers by (or anyone for that matter), you need to consider the data protection law. And you need to take remedial action.
The following rights apply:
- You must inform anyone caught in the camera lens that a CCTV system is in use, usually via signs.
- You should ensure you do not capture more footage than you need.
- The footage you capture must be kept securely and no one can see this without good reason.
- Only keep the footage as long as necessary and no longer.
- Family members should understand how to not misuse it.
- Any person caught in the video can ask for a copy of the footage. This is via a Subject Access Request. The CCTV user must respond within one month.
They can also ask the CCTV user:
- to erase any personal data they are holding.
- to not capture any footage in the future.
To recap, if the CCTV system is focused on your home and garden, and does not cover anything past the property boundary, the data protection laws do not apply. Your domestic CCTV system exists to offer you a level of protection and enables you to pass on footage to insurance companies or the Police. Both of these organisations must also comply with the data protection law.
Don’t forget that, although you may not need to register with the ICO, or pay a fee, you must maintain records of how and why you are capturing these images. You also need to state how long you intend to keep them. The ICO may ask you for them.
Please remember not to upload any footage from a domestic CCTV system where people can be identified. This is not justifiable.
If you feel you need a domestic CCTV system as a deterrent, consider speaking to your neighbours first and explain why you would like to install one.