CCTV and the law
The main rules about installing and using CCTV are covered by the Data Protection Act 1998. But this only applies to businesses and organisations, not to domestic properties.
Businesses and organisations operating CCTV and storing recorded information must follow a code of conduct in line with the Data Protection Act. If you are concerned that a business or organisation’s use of CCTV is contravening the Data Protection Act, you should refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), or tel: 0303 123 1113.
CCTV in Public Places
A public authority such as the council or police can use CCTV for public safety, crime prevention and national security if its use is proportionate and justified in the circumstances. Its use must also be in accordance with the Data Protection Act. If you are concerned about inappropriate use of CCTV by a public authority, you should refer the matter to the ICO.
“I am concerned about CCTV being installed by my neighbour”
The use of CCTV on privately owned domestic property is exempt from the Data Protection Act and there is no law regulating the use of privately owned CCTV. Therefore your neighbours do not need permission to install CCTV to protect their property. But if you feel their cameras are being used inappropriately to deliberately spy on you for example, this may amount to harassment or voyeurism and you should report the matter to the police.
“Are my human rights being breached by CCTV?”
Article 8: The right to respect private and family life The Human Rights Act only applies to systems operated on behalf of a public authority and it does not apply to businesses or domestic properties.
“I want to put CCTV on my property” It is important for people to feel safe and secure in their own home and domestic CCTV can provide a feeling of security. Before installing CCTV you may wish to take legal advice from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
CCTV should focus only on your property. The garden boundary is often a good guideline and anything beyond this could be considered obtrusive.
Be mindful of others’ privacy. Treat your neighbours with respect and do not place yourself in a position where you are open to accusations of invasion of privacy or harassment.