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CCTV is a great way to protect your business, home or expensive assets. However, a lot of us are not aware of the laws and guidelines we must abide by when using CCTV and recording. There are certain rules that must be followed and the use of CCTV and the storage of information is now heavily regulated.

One of the most important things when using CCTV is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018). This piece of legislation ensures that the government, organisations and businesses, by law, must keep and individuals personal and private information safe and secure. Anyone in charge of, or operating CCTV equipment must abide by a specific set of rules. Information that must be kept safe could be anything from a person’s name, address, e-mail address but also digital images and recordings of them. As a business owner it is crucial that you choose the right person for the job of handling CCTV and personal data. You need to make sure this person is trust worthy and professional. If the wrong member of staff gets hold of information or information is lost or leaked, it will look reflect badly on your business and could end up with legal action and hefty fines.

Using CCTV domestically, at home or on private land (non-business related), is completely legal and you are within your rights to set up and install CCTV equipment on or around your property. If you are only capturing images from within the boundary of your property (including gardens and land) then you are exempt from the GDPR and DPA2018; however if you have any cameras capturing images from outside the boundary of your property, you are bound by the same regulations as businesses. This is to protect the privacy of any individuals and guarantee that the equipment used is being used responsibly and for the correct reasons.

Any footage recorded on a non-domestic CCTV system shouldn’t be stored for longer than necessary, generally that period is 31 days but this can differ depending on the circumstances and location. You must also have adequate signage to inform people you are using CCTV equipment, including contact details for anyone captured on it to lodge a Subject Access Request (SAR); these requests for images must be responded to within statutory time frames; but you are able to charge a fee of up to £10. It’s prohibited for CCTV material to be shared between organisations or sent to any media companies or accounts online. The only time that this is acceptable is if the police have requested to see images in order to identify someone.

Although it may seem a bit of a minefield and a lot of regulation, it’s aimed at allowing people their privacy and ensuring that any stored images are kept secure and destroyed; the benefits of a security system are enormous.

If you need any advice on hardware or the regulations please contact one of our security specialists.