Whether you are considering installing CCTV on your property, or you already have, it pays to be clued up on the responsibilities it comes with. So, we’ve put together a guide that should make things much easier to understand. 

 

Reasons Why You Need CCTV 

There are many reasons why you might choose to install CCTV, but we’ve distilled them into three:

The first reason to install CCTV on your property is that it acts as a visual deterrent to thieves. When planning a break-in, a burglar will usually choose their home carefully, checking for signs of emptiness, or open doors and windows. One of the things that they check for, and will actively avoid, is CCTV. 

Secondly, CCTV gives you peace of mind. If you install a smart CCTV kit, then you will be able to check up on your home (including your pets!) at any time of the day, wherever you are in the world.

And finally, your CCTV can help identify criminals if they do commit burglary and theft or damage. 

When considering CCTV as part of your home security, there are several things to think about, including: what parts of your house you want to record; whether it needs to record all the time & whether it needs to record audio.

There is a huge variety of different types of CCTV kits, including systems like this Swann kit that can be set to only record when it detects movement or heat. You can browse our range of CCTV systems here.

 

Data Protection Act & GDPR 

The Data Protection Act only applies if your cameras capture footage of individuals outside of your property. As long as you make sure that your cameras don’t face outwards, or towards your neighbours’ property, then it won’t affect you. 

If your cameras do capture images beyond your property’s boundary, then you will need to comply with the data protection laws. This includes having a clear and justifiable reason why you are capturing images of the general public, and the reason why capturing the images is more important than the privacy of your neighbours. 

Similarly, with GDPR, if you’re capturing images of neighbours or passers-by, then they have the right to know about the collection and use of their personal data. Complying with GDPR also includes:

  • Responding to “subject access requests”. Individuals have the right to access any personal data that you have on them, which includes images. This means that if they ask you for a copy of their data, you must respond within a month. 
  • Deleting footage if they ask you to. This should also be completed within one month. You can refuse if you need to keep it for a specific legal dispute (which they can also challenge in court or complain to the ICO).

We would recommend that you make sure that your CCTV does not capture anything outside your property boundaries to avoid being subject to data protection regulations.

 

Informing Others 

Part of complying with the Data Protection Act is informing others of the fact that you have a CCTV system. This includes telling your neighbours face to face, and putting up a notice like this one.  

However, the added benefit of having a generic sign is that it makes it even more obvious to burglars that you’re surveilling the property, making it a better deterrent, so you may choose to do this even though you are not subject to DPA or GDPR. 

 

Storing Information & Maintenance 

Whether you’re recording images outside of your property boundary, it pays to be responsible with the way that you store that information. 

You should regularly check that:

  • The date and time is accurate
  • You have enough space to record
  • You’re not storing information unnecessarily
  • The way you’re storing the information is secure and access is kept to a minimum
  • You’re complying with any DPA or GDPR regulation that you need to
  • The position of your cameras is not intruding on privacy

This all means that should your home be broken into, your recorded images are reliable. 

 

Further Info

www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-cctv-using-cctv-systems-on-your-property/domestic-cctv-using-cctv-systems-on-your-property

ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/domestic-cctv-systems-guidance-for-people-using-cctv/

 

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