CCTV systems are a fantastic criminal deterrent and offer a high security DIY solution for your home. Here are a few tips to make sure your CCTV footage complies with the Data Protection Act, or DPA.
How can I use CCTV on my property responsibly?
The guiding principle throughout the deployment of your CCTV equipment should be checking at each stage that its use is necessary and not disproportionate.
For example – ask yourself:
• Do I really need a camera to address my security concerns?
• Would extra lighting or sensor lighting be as effective?
• Is there an alternative to a camera?
• Is there anyone who could advise me about alternatives?
• What is the most privacy friendly way to set it up?
• Can I avoid intruding into my neighbours’ property?
Any footage of individuals outside the bounds of the property, of course falls under the DPA, “Data Protection Act.”
Using CCTV on your property
CCTV used on your property will be exempt from the Data Protection Act unless you are capturing footage of individuals outside your property.
When is CCTV covered by the Data Protection Act?
Most uses of CCTV will be covered by the Data Protection Act. This gives you the right to see information held about you, including CCTV images of you, or images which give away information about you (such as your car number plate).The Data Protection Act sets rules which CCTV operators must follow when they gather, store and release CCTV images of individuals. The Information Commissioner can enforce these rules.
If you are concerned that CCTV is being used for harassment, anti-social behaviour or other matters dealt with under the criminal law, then these are matters for the police.