The Legalities of CCTV
For businesses and organisations, images and information, such as vehicle registrations, gathered through CCTV are covered by the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998. Whether you’re responsible for a large warehouse with 50 sophisticated cameras or for the basic single camera you might find in a small office, the law remains the same. According to a 2008 session at the House of Lords, however, photography is not restricted in a public place and there are no assumptions of privacy for people in a public place. Most concerns about CCTV are raised under the DPA or the Human Rights Act, but neither of these acts is likely to apply to CCTV used on private property.
CCTV is a common feature of our daily lives, and the legalities of its use are generally met if it is used responsibly. Home systems with 3 or fewer cameras, and where the cameras are not used remotely, do not require warning signs, taped records or registration with the UK Information Commissioner (formerly the Data Protection Registrar). Even if your cameras cover the adjacent street or a neighbouring property, their use is still exempt from DPA regulations. Part 4 of the DPA states: (36) “Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III”.
CCTV used on business premises requires certain conditions to be met. The CCTV operator will need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office. They will also be required to put up signs notifying people of the presence of cameras, and are required to provide copies of footage to anyone who has been recorded and requests it. Tapes records are also required and must be stored for a minimum period of 14 days and a recommended period of 31 days. CCTV on business premises is also required to meet the regulations stipulated in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Although there are no legal rights for people captured in public places, Article 8 can be used to make a case of unwarranted intrusion into personal space. Full details and reports on the use of CCTV for business use can be found at the Information Commissioners Office website, which contains guides, FAQs, codes of practice and information specific to pub landlords. If you would like to know more or wish to inquire about the CCTV systems we at Assegai Security can install, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team who will be more than happy to help.