Personal CCTV, Surveillance and Privacy – What you need to know
Several people up and down the country have CCTV systems installed outside their homes to discourage criminals from committing a burglary and to safeguard the well being of family members, friends, and visitors. However, there is some confusion about the rules regarding personal CCTV, surveillance and privacy.
Even though the main laws governing the installation and use of CCTV are covered by the Data Protection Act 1998, this only applies to businesses and their commercial premises. Therefore, it is perfectly legal to have a CCTV system installed at your home or domestic property.
However, it helps to know as much as possible about personal CCTV, surveillance and privacy in order to dispel any fears or concerns your neighbours may have. The following guidance is taken from the UK Government’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner.
How CCTV can affect others
“An individual has the right to protect their property and this can be done by using a CCTV system where it is necessary, such as a security measure,” says the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, who also recommends “users of CCTV systems should operate them in a responsible way to respect the privacy of others.”
In recent years, there have been complaints to the police, ICO, and the SCC from members of the public in the vicinity who believe that cameras are being used to spy on them. For this reason, it helps to ask yourself why you need CCTV, whether other security measures can be introduced instead, and what you intend to view and record.
If you still want to install a CCTV system, think carefully about where its positioned to ensure minimal intrusion to your neighbour’s and other people’s privacy. Find out whether the camera’s range will overlook your neighbour’s property, the public pavement, and other areas too.
Taking responsibility for CCTV
It is always a good idea to ask your neighbours how they feel about CCTV. You should also inform them about your system and maybe even put up a notice informing the public that a recording is taking place.
With the Surveillance Camera Commissioner stating that it is your responsibility to make sure a CCTV system is installed correctly, why not employ the services of Innovate Security for this task?
We have the experience, accreditations, and expertise required to carry out installations to an extremely high standard. Our friendly staff can provide information about how the system works and records video, something the Surveillance Camera Commission also recommends.
What to do with recorded information
After installing a CCTV system, Innovate Security will double check the accuracy of the date and time. We will provide free maintenance for the first year of ownership too.
When it comes to stored information, only use it for the purposes of which your system was installed. You should keep access to images and video to a minimum as well, getting rid of any information that is no longer required.
Also be aware that if your system captures information of an incident, the police could use it to aid a criminal investigation.