CCTV on private property
Residents sometimes complain that a neighbours’ CCTV camera is intrusive and impacts on their daily life - whether this is because it covers some of their property, or that it is used in an area that is shared access.
The use of CCTV in general is regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998 which is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO website contains further information on domestic use of CCTV.
Photographs or moving images of individuals qualify as personal data for the purposes of the legislation.
Although there is an exemption that covers personal data processed by an individual, this so-called domestic purposes exemption only applies, if the camera’s field of view is restricted to the householder’s own property.
In earlier years, it was assumed that the exemption applied even if the camera overlooked the street or other areas near the house, however, following a European Court of Justice ruling in 2014 this assumption no longer holds.
If a householder cannot rely on the domestic purposes exemption, then they are subject to a number of requirements in the data protection act.
This includes a need to notify the ICO that they are a data controller, observe the eight data protection principles and pay an annual fee of £35.
Details of the obligations resulting and of how to notify are published on the ICO website.