The Law Surrounding CCTV
By Data Installations & Supplies ltd
CCTV is a vital security measure for businesses worldwide. By using CCTV, you protect yourself and others from the threat of crime. However, without the right procedures and policies in place, you could be infringing on strict privacy laws that protect the rights of individuals. Read on to uncover everything you need to know about the law surrounding CCTV.
What are the Rules on CCTV for Businesses?
You might be wondering who can view your CCTV. Well, when employers install CCTV in the workplace, they must adhere to the following actions to remain compliant with UK privacy and data protection laws (GDPR):
- Employers must register as a data controller by informing the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and outline what they are using the CCTV for in the workplace. The footage can’t be used for any other purpose.
- All employees should be informed that they are being recorded. This is usually achieved with clear and visible signage in areas monitored by cameras.
- Cameras shouldn’t be installed in areas where complete privacy is expected, such as toilets or changing rooms.
- If anyone requests footage of themselves and has been recorded on one of your cameras, you must provide them with access within one month.
- ICO guidance states that a nominated person in your company should be made responsible for the storage of video, system procedures and reviews.
Is CCTV Covered Under GDPR?
Cameras that monitor the activities of people constitute a processing of personal data. Because of this, the activity falls under the UK Data Protection Act 2018, which incorporates GDPR.
All surveillance carried out away from a person’s domestic property is subject to GDPR, including recording from CCTV cameras in the workplace. A core principle of GDPR is that any personal data including video should only be kept for as long as necessary.
Who can view my CCTV?
Anyone filmed on your CCTV can view the footage, as long as it features them. You have one month to provide the footage. Law enforcement can also request footage from your CCTV in relation to a crime to be used to further a case or as evidence.
You should consider a few risks when you install a CCTV system at your premises, including:
- Employee trust – making sure your staff know they are being recorded is very important. If you don’t tell them, you risk seriously damaging your relationship with staff. It can lead to HR issues should someone file a complaint or resign off the back of it.
- An infringement of GDPR – if your business is found to be in breach of the General Data Protection Act, you could find yourself facing fines, bans on data processing and the bad publicity that goes along with it.
- Violation of the Human Rights Act – if the nature of your video monitoring is overly intrusive, you could be violating the privacy of your employees. If this happens, they can legally take you to court under the Human Rights Acts of 1998.
As long as you follow the law and adhere to the restrictions surrounding CCTV, you should have no problems. There is a wealth of information online surrounding this topic if you need any more guidance. Alternatively, we will be happy to help – please feel free to get in touch with us today!