The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights and they have released guidance on domestic CCTV systems.

If you have a domestic CCTV system you must ensure that that you are doing so in a way that respects other peoples privacy.  If it only records on your property and private garden then these laws do not apply to you.  However, if it records beyond your boundary line then the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the applies to you, and you must ensure that your use of your CCTV complies with both laws.  An important note is that this applies to both domestic CCTV systems and also doorbells that capture images and audio (i.e. Ring Doorbell.)

If you are capturing images outside of your boundary you must have a clear reason for doing so because you are invading the privacy of neighbours and passers-by.  Additionally you must do the following:-

  • Have a sign telling people that CCTV is recording and capturing images and the reason why
  • Ensure you don’t capture more footage than you need to achieve your purpose
  • Ensure that the footage you have is stored securely
  • Only keep the footage for a long as you need it
  • Ensure the CCTV images are not misused by you are anyone else in your household that can access it

You also need to ensure that you uphold the data protection rights of the people whose images you capture, this includes but is not limited to:-

  • Responding to Subject Access Requests (SAR) and individuals have the right to access the personal data you hold on them, they can ask verbally or in writing and you must respond within one month with a copy of the data
  • You must delete the footage of others if you are requested, and this must be done within one month. Yu can refuse if you require the footage for a genuine legal dispute in which case you must tell them this and they can either challenge it in court to complain to the ICO.

If you fail to comply with your legal obligations under the data protection laws you could be subjected to enforcement action from the ICO which is a fine, individuals captured could also pursue court claims for compensation.

You no longer need to register with the ICO or pay a fee to do so (you used to but this has now changed) however you must maintain records of how and why you are capturing these images and how long you are keeping them, the ICO may ask to see these