When it comes to security for the home and for business, the most common first port of call is CCTV. It makes a great deterrent for criminals, and if something does happen it allows you to collect evidence that can help you recover your belongings and prosecute the criminals responsible. But there’s also a question that hangs around the use of CCTV an awful lot, and today we wanted to answer it for you. Do you really need to have signs up in order to use CCTV?
If you run a business then yes, absolutely. There are a few different laws that dictate the need for CCTV signs, but the biggest one by far is GDPR. Because your face is considered a personally identifying feature (we should hope so!), it’s a protected feature under GDPR. This means you must notify people that you are capturing that data from them, and that you are recording their image through the use of CCTV. All you really need for this is a sign that is easily visible and readable on display in your premises – preferably in multiple places. The sign must state that CCTV is in operation on the premises. If it’s not obvious who’s operating and managing the CCTV (for example, in a public car park), you will need to include this information too so that people can contact you if needed. That’s it – you don’t need any more notification than that.
When it comes to home CCTV systems, the story is a little bit different. Since your intent isn’t to capture film of the public, you don’t legally need to display CCTV signage on your home to use CCTV. The only exception is if your cameras capture a view of a public area – like a pathway or road outside of you home. In this case, a single sign to notify passers by that you’re recording is enough. If your camera is just pointing at your doorstep, then you’re in the clear.
You also need to have a basic understanding of your obligations under GDPR if you are filming the public, because you will need to follow it. This means you only film what you need to, and not keep it any longer than strictly necessary. The public can request to see footage of themselves under the Freedom of Information Act, so you need to be able to provide a response and a copy of the footage within one month.
However, if you’re considering putting a CCTV system in at home, it might be worth having a conversation with your neighbours and letting them know what you’re planning. A sign might not be a bad idea, just in the spirit of being a good neighbour and letting them know they need to wear trousers when they come and get the paper in the morning!
What About Video Doorbells?
If you want a little extra security without putting a full CCTV system in place, a popular alternative is a video doorbell like the Ring system. These systems aren’t set up to record all the time, but instead respond to movement, or the live footage can be viewed directly from your phone. Because of this many people think that they don’t need any sort of sign. But the laws are the same as with CCTV systems – if it films the public or public spaces, you need to put up a sign. Most video doorbell companies will even provide you with a little window sticker to do just this.
If you’re not sure what the best security option is for you, or you need some guidance on CCTV systems, we would love to help. At Securifix we can design home and business solutions to suit your needs, so that you can rest safe knowing that your home, business or both are protected. If you would like to book your free security review and consultation, please just get in touch today.