Security Camera Installation: Are there Legal Regulations to adhere to?

Whether you are hoping to catch your employees stealing from you or keep your home more secure, installing a security camera will make your dreams come true. CCTV cameras are now commonplace in most homes and offices. It is really easy to see why. Having an extra set of eyes gives you the peace of mind that all is well back home when you are away. It also makes people behave well at all times and increases the resale value of your home, among many other benefits.

However, installing a camera infringes on the privacy of other people. For this reason, there are legal regulations you should adhere to. Let’s go over those briefly.

  1. Installing CCTV on a commercial building

As to whether you can install security cameras on commercial property, the answer is yes. However, some guidelines should always be followed. These include the following:

  • Let others be aware that you have CCTV cameras in place. Mount clear signs so that your workers or clients know they are being recorded and filmed.
  • You should be willing to share CCTV footage with the authorities at no charge if required
  • Agree to discard the images after a certain period.
  • Provide the footage and images if requested (you are allowed to charge a fee)

  1. Installing a CCTV at home

Most governments don’t have many restrictions regarding security cameras for domestic use. As long as you are after keeping your property safe, you don’t need permission to install CCTV in most states. However, before you get a security camera for your residential property, you should ask yourself why you need it, what do you want to record with it, and if you can use a better security measure alternative (such as alarms, security lights, and locks). 

  1. The Right Person To Install And Operate A Security Camera

According to the Data Protection Act (DPA), a security camera operator bears the responsibility of the footage and should, therefore, be trustworthy. They decide what is being filmed, how to use it, and who receives it. With this in mind, a security camera operator should understand how a CCTV camera works and follow all the procedures. In addition, they should enroll themselves with the Office of the Information Commissioner.

  1. Can I get access to CTV footage?

You are allowed to gain access to security footage upon request. Legally, you should be given the data within 40 days upon your request. However, you will be required to identify yourself to the camera operator. If you are in media or entertainment, you might not have luck buying CCTV footage. In most cases, the requests that are granted are from the police. 

  1. Holding on to footage

The DPA states that CCTV data should bear a retention time of 31 days. There are only a few situations and severe incidents that warrant consistent monitoring.

Before you fill your commercial and residential property with security cameras, you should keep all the legal regulations in mind. If unsure, always err on the side of caution.

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