Homewatch Group

Home CCTV – The Rules and Regulations

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It is sad to think that we live in a day and age whereby we need to put different measures and systems in place to protect what is rightfully ours. However, this is the world that we live in. With that in mind, we are going to explain the different rules and regulations that are in place regarding home CCTV in the UK so that you can get a better understanding and stay on the right side of the law. 

Complying with GDPR and DPA

There are a number of different rules that relate to those using CCTV for your property, including the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Both of these regulations are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are applicable to you if the CCTV system that you use captures photographs of people that are outside the boundary of your private domestic property, for instance, if your CCTV captures public areas, shared spaces, or your neighbours’ gardens or homes. 

You need to make sure that your utilisation of CCTV complies with GDPR and DPA if this is the case. If you do not comply with these regulations, the ICO will take appropriate regulatory action. There is guidance and a CCTV checklist that has been published by the ICO to help you get a better understanding of your requirements.

They have explained that your use of CCTV is subject to data protection laws when your CCTV captures images that go beyond the boundaries of your property. This certainly does not mean that you are breaking the law by using CCTV. However, it does mean that you are a data controller by using CCTV. this means that you must uphold the rights of the individual whose photos you are capturing and you need to comply with data protection.

What should you do if you capture images of people outside your own property and garden?

If you are capturing photographs that go beyond the boundary of your property, you must have a justifiable and clear reason for doing this. Specifically, you must think about why these images are required. If asked by the ICO or another individual, you have to be able to explain your reasons, so make sure you write these down so you have something you can easily refer to. It is also advisable to write down why you think capturing these photographs is more vital than the privacy of your neighbours and any passers-by. 

  • Make sure that the home CCTV system is only operated in the manner you intend it to be. It cannot be misused for other reasons. Anyone who shares your property, for instance, family members who could utilise the equipment, must know how critical it is to not misuse it.

  • Only hold onto the footage for as long as you require it. You should make sure you delete footage regularly and when it is not needed any more.

  • Make certain the footage that you capture is secure. This means that you need to ensure that no one has access to the footage and that no one else can watch it without a good reason for doing so.

  • Make sure that you do not capture more footage than is needed to achieve your aim for using the system to begin with.

  • Let people know that you are using CCTV. You can do this by putting up signs that indicate that CCTV is being used, as well as your reasons for doing this. While this is imperative in terms of notifying those in your local area, it can also help to deter criminals as well because they will know that you have an advanced security system in place and so they will be less likely to choose your property as a target.

CCTV laws pertaining to storing your recordings

There are a few things you will need to keep in mind when it comes to storing your recordings. It is vital to check that you have enough space for your recordings and that the time and date on your system is accurate. 

You also need to ensure that the data that is recorded is only utilised for the purpose in which your system has been installed, for example, it is not appropriate to share recordings with any friends or on social media.

You also need to make a dedicated effort to ensure the recordings are secured. Access should be kept to a minimum. You are the person who is responsible for the recordings and what happens to them, so the importance of this cannot be ignored. 

Home CCTV rules regarding maintenance

The UK Government have also outlined home CCTV regulations with reference to CCTV maintenance. When running a CCTV system at your home, you need to make sure that the position of your device is checked from time-to-time to ensure that privacy intrusion is minimised and you are capturing the correct images. 

You are also advised to regularly check your system to ensure it is working correctly, including wiping your device down after bad weather. 

Don’t hold onto your recordings longer than is deemed necessary for the protection of your property and make sure you are complying with the DPA and GDPR regulations that we have discussed above. This is not a one-time thing; you need to make a dedicated effort to comply with the home CCTV laws. 

What next?

So there you have it: an insight into the rules and regulations regarding CCTV and your use of it. Is imperative to make sure that your CCTV system and the use of it is in full compliance with the law. If you are unsure about any of this, or you would like CCTV set up at your property, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we would be more than happy to assist you in any way we can. 

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