CCTV Installation for Businesses: What does the law say? 

Posted in CCTV Commercial Security on 29 September 2020

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When starting a business, CCTV cameras are a security must. 

Not only do they surveill the comings and goings of your premises, but the presence of cameras acts as an effective deterrence to dissuade intruders from even attempting a break in. 

As vital as cameras are for protecting a commercial premises, you also need to stay on the right side of the law. In this article, we take you through what the law says about CCTV installation in commercial settings so you can stay legally-compliant. 

How do I lawfully install CCTV at my business? 

  • Any time you install commercial CCTV cameras, you must answer to the Data Protection Act 1998. Before using CCTV for commercial purposes, you must register your business details with the ICO, or Information Commissioner’s Office. This is because you are legally obliged to pay a Data Protection fee, unless you are exempt e.g. if you are filming your own domestic property. 

Do I have to let staff know they are being recorded? 

  • You must display signs that warn people they are being recorded. These signs must be legible, clear and unobscured. All employees should be made aware of CCTV. 
  • You must create a GDPR-compliant statement with regards to why you have installed CCTV, for how long recorded footage and images will be stored for, and how this data will be kept safe and secure. 

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Do I legally have to share CCTV footage? 

  • You must have the ability to provide footage of anybody that you have recorded within one calendar month. 
  • You must be willing to share any images or recordings with the authorities, including the police, when requested. 

Is there anything I can’t record on my business CCTV? 

  • You must not install CCTV cameras in areas where people need total privacy, for example a toilet or a changing room. 
  • The cameras must only be used for the purpose they were intended for. In most cases, this will be to detect and deter criminals. They cannot be used, for example, to monitor staff attendance or work ethic when that is not their intended purpose. 

Who should control the CCTV recordings? 

  • You must choose a nominated person to be responsible for controlling and storing the recordings for your company. 

How long should my business keep CCTV images for? 

  • You must retain images only for as long as your business requires them, the general figure being one month. There is some flexibility on this point, as different companies will have different needs and requirements. 

Seeking a CCTV system to protect your business in Kent, Bromley or Sidcup? Here at Fire Action, we’re the go-to fire and security specialists for the region, operating as a fully-accredited company for almost 20 years. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to devise a security system that suits your business. 

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