Do Security Cameras Pick Up Audio?

CCTV is found in a wide variety of settings, from residential homes to shops, schools, and offices. It is primarily used to capture video footage, but do security cameras pick up audio too? Although many cameras have the functionality to record sound, CCTV is not commonly used to capture audio.

Can CCTV Cameras Record Sound?

Both traditional analogue CCTV cameras and modern IP cameras (which use the internet to record, store, and send data) can record audio. IP cameras capture higher quality audio than analogue models as the sound is automatically digitised, instead of being converted from analogue to digital.

A CCTV camera will either have an integrated microphone or an input for an external microphone.

Can I Use Audio CCTV in My Business?

In some scenarios, using CCTV to record audio can keep your employees or customers safe. Call centres also use audio CCTV as a training tool. Wherever audio CCTV is in use, employees should be aware that they are being recorded and how their data is used.

Workplace audio, including conversations, cannot be recorded without everyone being aware of the presence of audio CCTV. It is also important to ensure that the CCTV system you choose has the ability to record high quality audio.

What Are the Regulations Around Using Audio CCTV?

Any business using CCTV must inform the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) and pay a data protection fee of either £40 or £60 a year. You must state the purpose of having a CCTV system in place, whether it records audio or just video.

It is also essential that signage is clearly displayed to make people aware that they are being recorded. This should specify that both video and audio recording is in operation and should include your contact details so people know who is responsible for the CCTV.

CCTV should not be installed in areas considered private, including dressing rooms and toilets. All footage should be stored securely and only kept for as long as it is required, which is generally a maximum of 31 days.

Do I Need To Record Audio Using CCTV Cameras?

It is important to consider whether it is necessary to record audio using CCTV cameras, even if the cameras offer the functionality to capture sound. Recording audio can be intrusive and impact the privacy of the people using your premises. In many cases, it is difficult to justify recording audio with CCTV cameras.

A CCTV system remains a highly effective deterrent to crime, even without capturing sound, and the video footage recorded will still be useful if it doesn’t have audio.

Is Any Documentation Required When Using CCTV Audio?

Whether your CCTV cameras capture just video or both video and audio, it is important to carry out a data protection impact assessment (DPIA). All organisations should have a DPIA in place before installing CCTV, which should detail the reasons for using CCTV and how this will impact people’s privacy.

Access Control Solutions install CCTV systems for businesses in a wide variety of sectors and can recommend the right cameras for your requirements, whether you want to record video and audio or just video footage. Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in CCTV