Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras are commonly used in public areas to deter crime and provide evidence in the event of an incident. However, the use of CCTV footage is subject to legal restrictions under the Data Protection Act. In this guide, we’ll explain the key aspects of the Data Protection Act and how they relate to the use of CCTV footage by members of the public.

What is the Data Protection Act?

The Data Protection Act (DPA) is a UK law that governs the collection, storage, and use of personal data. It sets out principles that organisations must follow to ensure that personal data is processed lawfully, fairly, and in a way that respects individuals’ rights. The act also provides individuals with rights over their personal data, including the right to access and correct it.

How does the Data Protection Act relate to CCTV footage?

CCTV footage often contains personal data, such as images of individuals, vehicles, and property. As such, the use of CCTV footage is subject to the Data Protection Act’s principles and requirements. This means that the footage must be processed in a way that is fair and transparent, with individuals’ rights to privacy and data protection respected.

Accessing CCTV footage as a member of the public

As a member of the public, you have a right to request access to CCTV footage that contains your personal data. This is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR) and can be made to the organisation that is responsible for the CCTV cameras. The organisation must respond to your request within one month and provide you with a copy of the footage, along with any other personal data they hold about you.

However, there are some circumstances in which the organisation may refuse to provide the footage. For example, if providing the footage would disclose personal data about another individual, or if it would prejudice an ongoing investigation. In such cases, the organisation must provide an explanation for their refusal.

What are the Data Protection Act’s principles for CCTV footage?

The Data Protection Act sets out eight principles that organisations must follow when processing personal data, including CCTV footage. These principles are:

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency
  2. Purpose limitation
  3. Data minimisation
  4. Accuracy
  5. Storage limitation
  6. Integrity and confidentiality
  7. Accountability
  8. Rights of the data subject

For CCTV footage, these principles mean that the organisation must have a legitimate reason for using the cameras, such as public safety or crime prevention. They must also ensure that the footage is used only for the purposes for which it was collected and not kept for longer than necessary. Additionally, the organisation must ensure that the footage is kept secure and not shared with unauthorised individuals.

Contact Learn CCTV

To learn more about starting your own CCTV business and getting the CCTV installation training you need to be successful, contact Learn CCTV today!

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it on your favourite social media sites.