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CCTV and your Privacy

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regulates and enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).

If you have any questions about the use of domestic CCTV or concerns about your privacy, visit the website:

www.ico.org.uk/your-data-matters

or call them on:  0303 123 1113

Domestic CCTV systems have to comply with the Data Protection Laws but it depends upon what the cameras can see. The Laws do not apply if the cameras only cover the user’s private property, including their garden. Visitors to that proprty do not have specific rights in relation to the recordings made by those cameras.

If the cameras capture images of people outside the boundary of the user’s property – for example, in neighbours’ homes,  gardens, shared spaces, public footpaths or streets etc., the Laws apply. Neighbours, passers-by and anyone else caught on camera have rights under the Data Protection Laws.

Capturing and recording images outside the boundari of a private proprty is not, in itself, a breach of the Data Protection Laws. But CCTV users must ensure that they comply with them and respect the privacy and rights of people whose images they record. This applies to any video surveillance equipment mounted or fixed on a home, including cameras fitted into doorbells.

If you are filmed on a domestic CCTV system, that is capturing images outside the boundary of the proprty, you have the right to:

  • Be told that a CCTV system is being used. Signs are the most common way of doing this. They must be clearly visible and legible.
  • 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 recordong where your image is identifiable. The CCTV user must respond to this request within one month.
  • Ask the CCTV user to erase any recordings and personal data they hold about you. They can refuse to delete it if they specifically need to keep it for a genuine legal dispute but thry must tell you and that you can challenge this in court or complain to the ICO.
  • Ask that the CCTV user does not capture any footage of you in future. (The nature of CCTV systems can make this difficult and it might not be possible.)

If you have concerns about the use of a home CCTV system, go to the ICO website and use their online tool to determine the best course of action for you to take.

ICO Online Tool - Click here

In most cases, cameras are installed around private homes to protect personal property, and ensure the safety of the occupants. Normally, recordings will only be used to identify individuals after an incident. They can then be passed on to the Police or insurance companies. Any organisation receiving them must also comply with the Data Protection Laws.

CCTV systems can feel intrusive. The ICO has published guidance for domestic users. This describes good-practice and reminds users of their obligations under the Data Protection Laws.

In most CCTV-related disputes, however, the ICO is unlikely consider it appropriate or proportionate to take enforcement action against the user.