Information Commissioners Office guidance for people using CCTV
Using CCTV at your home
There are many domestic CCTV systems on the market to help you protect your home. If you’re thinking of using one, you need to make sure you do so in a way that respects other people’s privacy.
If you set up your system so it captures only images within the boundary of your private domestic property (including your garden), then the data protection laws will not apply to you.
But what if your system captures images of people outside the boundary of your private domestic property – for example, in neighbours’ homes or gardens, shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street?
Then the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) will apply to you, and you will need to ensure your use of CCTV complies with these laws. This guidance refers to them as the ‘data protection laws’.
Regardless of whether or not your use of CCTV falls within the data protection laws, the ICO recommends you use it responsibly to protect the privacy of others.
What does ‘private domestic property’ mean?
It means the boundary of the property (including the garden) where you live. This can include rented property, or a private space in a communal residential dwelling – such as a flat, or a private room in a residential care home.
How can I use CCTV responsibly at my property?
You should ask yourself whether CCTV is actually the best way to improve your home security.
Think about the problem you are trying to tackle. It will usually be to safeguard you and your property against crime. Check your local police advice about crime prevention. Better locks, security lighting or an alarm system may be more effective and less expensive ways of securing your property.
If you decide to use CCTV, think about what areas need to be covered, and whether your cameras need to capture images beyond the boundary of your property. Remember, if your cameras don’t capture images beyond your boundary, the data protection laws won’t apply to you.
What is the law if my CCTV captures images of people outside my own home and garden?
If your CCTV captures images beyond your property boundary, such as your neighbours’ property or public streets and footpaths, then your use of the system is subject to the data protection laws.
This does not mean you are breaking the law. But it does mean that, as the CCTV user, you are a data controller. So you will need to comply with your legal obligations under the data protection laws.
You can still capture images, but you need to show you are doing it in ways that comply with the data protection laws and uphold the rights of the people whose images you are capturing.
What must I do if I capture images of people outside my own home and garden?
If you are capturing images beyond your property boundary, you should have a clear and justifiable reason for doing so. In particular, you will need to think why you need these images. If asked by an individual or the ICO, you will need to be able to explain your reasons, so you should write them down now. You should also write down why you think capturing the images is more important than invading the privacy of your neighbours and passers-by.
You will also need to:
You also need to make sure you respect the data protection rights of the people whose images you capture. This includes the following things:
What happens if I break the law?
If you fail to comply with your obligations under the data protection laws, you may be subject to enforcement action by the ICO. This could include a fine. You may also be subject to legal action by affected individuals, who could pursue court claims for compensation.
What else should I think about?
Where do I get more information?
LHP cannot provide any official or legal advice on this manner, but for any informal discussion you are welcome to contact our Privacy Manager on 0345 604 1472 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
For official advice, please contact The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number
Lincolnshire Housing Partnership Limited registered as a charitable Community Benefit Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 with registered number: 7748. Data Protection registration number: ZA345449 Registered Office: Westgate Park, Charlton Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1SQ