Many homeowners choose to protect their properties with CCTV cameras, which can be an effective deterrent to would-be intruders or vandals. However, CCTV regulations in the UK mean there are a few things to bear in mind before installing CCTV at home, including the privacy of your neighbours and data protection.
Are You Allowed To Install CCTV Cameras at Home?
If you own your property, you are allowed to install CCTV cameras at home. It may be possible to install CCTV if you are a tenant of a rented property, but speak to your landlord or letting agent first.
How Can I Use CCTV Responsibly At Home?
Before installing CCTV at home, consider why you need CCTV, and whether there are other steps you can take to improve security, like better lighting or an alarm system.
If CCTV is right for you, think about how to set up the system without intruding on the privacy of those in your neighbourhood, for example by positioning cameras away from neighbouring properties or shared spaces.
Where Should Home CCTV Cameras Be Placed?
You can install CCTV cameras anywhere on your property, however the position of your cameras can affect whether the footage is subject to data protection laws. If anything beyond the boundary of your private domestic property is recorded, like a neighbour’s garden or the street, then data protection laws will apply.
For this reason, it is simpler to ensure that cameras only cover the area of your own home and garden, meaning that only the privacy of your own household is impacted.
Can CCTV Record Audio?
Most CCTV cameras can record audio via a built-in or external microphone. If your CCTV cameras have the facility to record audio, think about whether this is necessary, as recording audio is more intrusive than just capturing video. With this in mind, consider disabling audio recording when installing your cameras.
Should I Tell My Neighbours I Am Installing CCTV?
It might be useful to speak to your neighbours before installing a CCTV system to explain your reasons for having cameras. You may want to show them the footage that has been recorded so they understand which parts of their property are covered by your cameras. This could help avoid future disputes or complaints being made.
Having a good relationship with your neighbours can be an effective security measure in itself. They can keep an eye on your empty property while you are away and can also keep you informed of any local security concerns.
What Are Data Protection Rules For Home CCTV?
CCTV cameras which only capture footage within the boundary of your private domestic property – i.e. your home and garden – are not subject to data protection laws. If your cameras also record images beyond the boundary of your private domestic property, including on a public street or in a neighbour’s home or garden, CCTV and data protection regulations will apply.
Installing CCTV at home which records footage outside of your own home or garden is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18).
You are permitted to capture images outside of your own private domestic property, but need to demonstrate that you are complying with data protection laws and upholding the rights of those whose images you capture.
What if My Cameras Record People Outside of My Home or Garden?
If your CCTV cameras capture footage from beyond the boundary of your property, you should have a justifiable reason for this. An individual or the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) may ask you to explain why you have a CCTV system in place, so make sure you are able to explain your reasons.
The footage you capture should be stored securely and only for as long as needed – make sure footage is deleted regularly. Only use CCTV as it is intended and ensure that those you live with know not to misuse the cameras. This includes sharing footage publicly by uploading or streaming it.
How Do I Protect the Data of Those Recorded by Home CCTV?
In addition to regularly deleting footage and only using CCTV as intended, you should also respond to any subject access requests (SARs) that you receive from your neighbours. Anyone has a right to access the data you hold about them, which includes CCTV footage. If someone makes an SAR, you must provide a copy of the data within one month.
If someone asks you to delete footage of them, you also have to do this within one month of their request. If individuals are uncomfortable with being recorded or have made an objection, consider whether you should reposition your cameras to avoid recording a neighbour’s home or garden in future.
If You Have CCTV Do You Need a Sign?
When CCTV cameras are recording beyond the boundary of your property, whether that is a neighbour’s garden or the street, you should inform people that CCTV is in use with clear signage in a noticeable place.
CCTV signs are a legal requirement if your cameras record an area outside of your private domestic property. It is also courteous to let people know that their privacy is being impacted by the presence of your cameras.
Do I Need To Pay a Fee For Home CCTV?
Homeowners are no longer required to register with the ICO or pay a data protection fee. However, the ICO has the authority to request records of how and why you are capturing CCTV images and how long they are stored for.
Can CCTV Cameras Record the Street or Road?
CCTV cameras are permitted to record the street or road, including both pedestrians and traffic, but the footage will be subject to both the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18).
Can CCTV Cameras Record My Neighbour’s Property?
CCTV cameras can record your neighbour’s property, including their home and garden, however data protection regulations will apply.
Do Video Doorbells Count As CCTV?
ICO guidance around domestic CCTV systems covers any video surveillance equipment attached to your home, including cameras fitted to doorbells.
As video doorbells grow in popularity, both for peace of mind when away from home, and for convenience when receiving deliveries, it is important to remember that this is a form of video surveillance. As such, the footage captured by a video doorbell is subject to the same CCTV regulations in the UK.
What is Privacy Masking?
Some CCTV systems support privacy masking, which allows a specific area of the camera’s view to be blocked. Static masking can block certain things from view in any recordings, like a neighbour’s garden for example, while dynamic masking can block moving objects or people from view.
If available, this can be used to protect the privacy of your neighbours or the general public when CCTV cameras cover an area outside of your property boundary.
Access Control Solutions can install home CCTV systems to protect your property and the people you love while advising you on data protection laws and privacy considerations. To find out more, call 0116 236 6044 or complete our contact form to get in touch.