Domestic CCTV Systems Legal Advice
The UK is recognised as a leading user of CCTV and the public are used to seeing CCTV cameras on virtually every high street. Such systems continue to enjoy general public support but they do involve intrusion into the lives of ordinary people as they go about their day to day business and can raise wider privacy concerns
The main laws surrounding the use of CCTV are contained within the Data Protection Act 1998 but these do not cover domestic residences.
It is perfectly legal to install CCTV (even with recording and playback capabilities) to protect your property against intruders and trespassers.
Under the Data Protection legislation (Data Protection Act 1998) CCTV installations within domestic premises do not require to be registered with the Information Commissioner, formerly the Data Protection Registrar. There is therefore no requirement to keep records of recordings or place signage around the premises where CCTV is being used.
The Human Rights Act covers our right to privacy.
Article 8 of the Act entitled: “The Right to Respect for Private and Family Life, Home and Correspondence” means that your CCTV cameras should be sited so that they only observe activity on your property. If it’s suspected that your CCTV can capture part or all of a neighbour’s property, they might have a case to take action against you.
For example, they might have sufficient grounds to say that they have had their privacy violated and that your CCTV system is tantamount to harassment and even voyeurism.
If in rented accommodation, written consent of the Landlord is needed for CCTV installation.
Cameras can only be installed on other people’s property with written permission. If agreement is given it can be sited on buildings, trees and street furnishings subject to planning.
The above information is provided as a guide to the current law on domestic CCTV installations. If you require further clarification regarding the law and your individual property, please consult a solicitor prior to purchasing your residential CCTV system