Your neighbour has installed CCTV Are they allowed to do this?

LHP Advice on a Neighbour Installing CCTV

My neighbour has installed a private CCTV system – are they allowed to do this?

The law allows individuals to set up and use CCTV monitoring systems within the boundaries of their own private domestic property, including their garden. Where images are contained within these boundaries, data protection laws do not apply.
However, where the system captures images of people outside the boundary of the property – for example in shared spaces, on a public footpath or street, then the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) into which GDPR is incorporated, will apply and the owner needs to ensure the system is used responsibly to protect the privacy of others.

What should my neighbour have considered when setting up a system?

Before installing any monitoring equipment, your neighbour should have asked themselves:

  • Do I really need CCTV?
  • Are there other things I could use to protect my home, such as better lighting?
  • What is the most privacy-friendly way to set up the system?
  • What areas do I want the cameras to capture?
  • Can I position the cameras to avoid intruding on my neighbours’ property or any shared or public spaces?
  • Do I need to record the images, or is a live feed enough?
  • Has my CCTV system got an audio-recording facility? (Note - audio recording is considered very privacy-intrusive. So in most cases where householders use CCTV, they should disable audio recording).
  • Where it is to safeguard against crime, they should have checked local police advice about crime prevention. Better locks, security lighting or an alarm system may be more effective and less expensive ways of securing property.

What must my neighbour do if they capture images of people outside their own home and garden?
They must:

  • Let people know they are using CCTV by putting up signs saying that recording is taking place, and why.
  • Ensure they don’t capture more footage than needed to achieve their purpose in using the system.
  • Ensure the security of the footage they capture – in other words, holding it securely and making sure nobody can watch it without good reason.
  • Only keep the footage for as long as needed – delete it regularly, and when it is no longer needed.
  • Ensure the CCTV system is only operated in ways they intend and can’t be misused for other reasons. Anyone they share the property with, such as family members who could use the equipment, needs to know the importance of not misusing it.
    What are my rights if my image is being captured?
  • You have the right to make a Subject Access Request (SAR) – to see a copy of the images. This request can be made verbally, or in writing (writing is preferred so the date of request can be evidenced). The CCTV operators must, by law, respond within one month and give you a copy of the data.
  • You have the right to have footage deleted. Again, this request can be made verbally or in writing (writing is preferred so the date of request can be evidenced). The CCTV operator must respond within one month and must delete the footage UNLESS they believe there is a genuine reason to keep it, for example because of the prevention or detection of crime, or other legal dispute – in this case, they must tell you this, and you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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 dataprotection@lincolnshirehp.com

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

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