Everything you need to know about UK regulations of home CCTV systems
As security specialists for non-residential premises, iFacility do not install home or domestic Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems. However we are often asked about domestic security camera installation and rules, so we hope you find this article informative and helpful if you’re thinking about getting CCTV your home. As of July 2017 this information is correct, and it has been adapted from the advice given by the Information Commissioners Office which may be liable to change. Please click the following link for the latest direct from the ICO: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/cctv-on-your-property/
Can I install a security camera at my home?
The short answer is yes. You have the right to protect your property, and CCTV is just one of the possible security measures you can take. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly common to find security cameras on most residential properties these days.
Before getting a CCTV system for your home, there are a couple of quick considerations you should think about first.
- Why do I need CCTV? And what do I want the security camera(s) to record?
- Is there a different security measure that would protect my property better? (security lights, alarms, locks etc.)
Consider how your CCTV system might have an impact on the privacy of others
Legally, home CCTV use can be a bit of a grey area. As long as you’re using the camera to monitor your property, within its boundaries, you are ok as a rule, unless you are streaming images that are publicly accessible as you are, in effect broadcasting images of visitors to your home, (extended family, window cleaners, postman, etc.) so similar rules apply as when cameras capture footage beyond your fences – such as the pavement, road and neighbouring properties.
The Data Protection Act 1998 applies to CCTV use that’s monitoring the movements of strangers outside your home, as you’re effectively collecting data on those individuals, so it becomes difficult to operate with the exception of domestic purpose. In these circumstances, we recommend you register with the ICO as a data controller. You can do that here (£35 per year): register with ICO as a data controller.
Also, many CCTV systems now come with audio recording facilities. Audio recording is particularly privacy intrusive, and in its recommended, in the vast majority of cases, it should be disabled.
Restrictions imposed by the Data Protection Act 1998 when installing home CCTV
Most home security cameras capture footage from beyond your property boundary; it’s often unavoidable. So it is important that you:
- Put up clear signs stating that CCTV is in operation
- Only use the footage for security
- Just keep the footage secure and for as long as you need it
- Don’t release the footage to third parties
However, where a camera has been installed to prevent crime, you can keep the footage for as long as needed to detect and prosecute the crime. The footage captured can also be passed on to the police and other authorities to achieve this.
Consideration of Human Rights Act 1998
Article 8 of The Human Rights Act 1998 states that an individual has the right to respect for their private and family life, and of their home. So if you were using your security cameras to specifically monitor the activities of your neighbours – that could well be a breach of their human rights and could open you up to prosecution.
One last word about using your CCTV system to capture evidence of crime
Police advise anyone using home CCTV to take great care and consideration that they fully comply and that they keep up to date with changes to the law. (download the official advice from the Information Commissioners office here) If unsure, please always err on the side of caution and move cameras, or use above link to register with the ICO.
If you are considering CCTV for your business or commercial premises, get in touch with iFacility on 01749 600 600