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.
If you decide you need CCTV for your property, please consider where you will position cameras to avoid recording neighbouring properties or the public streets if this is possible. You should also consider talking to your neighbours before you install CCTV to deal with any concerns they may have.
The use of CCTV in general is regulated by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and 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 your CCTV captures images beyond your property boundary, such as a neighbour’s garden or the public streets and footpath, then your use of the system is subject to the data protection laws. Details of your obligations under the legislation can be found on the ICO website.