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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have cctv cameras on my house. It is a semi detached house

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I have cctv cameras on my house. It is a semi detached house with a shared sideway which has a security gate attached to my house and next door's house. The cctv camera points over the security gate and then to a shared area (approx. 10ft) between the two hedges of my house and next door's house and then shows a tiny bit of the street at the end. They are disputing that we are filming on them on their private property and are going to take us to court unless we remove the camera. Although it is their private property it is also our private property which we want to protect as we have a forest opposite and have been burgled before by people climbing over the security gate. The area which the cctv captures can be seen from the street and is where we all keep our dustbins. Could you please let us know where we stand as the neighbour has a solicitor who has written to us who said that we are breaching their Human Rights. We obviously do not want break any laws but would like to keep the camera up. We cannot speak to our neighbours, they have refused any mediation. Many thanks.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. For the avoidance of any doubt may I confirm that you are not running a business from your home but that you are merely filming as a private person for purposes of security please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it is our residential property, where we live with our family although my husband is a self employed roofer and has headed paper with his name and our residential address on it for his business.

Thank you - does he conduct his business from the property (ignoring any ancillary use for dealing with paperwork) or use the images collected in any way associated with his business?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, he just does his paperwork at home and images are not connected with his work at all. His work is conducted outside of the home (on other people's roofs). Many thanks.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Also, just to give you the overall picture, we have a camera on our front garden which also showed out on to the pavement and street (and forest opposite). We could see our car in front of our house which was reassuring as we have had a lot of car crime in our road but as the guidance from ICO seems to have changed recently regarding capturing images of people on the pavement (my neighbour has complained that we can capture images of her and her family walking past our house) we have blacked this out so that it just shows our front garden. Can you also tell us if blacking the area out is sufficient to comply with this guidance as if we move the camera in it doesn't capture all of our front garden properly. Many thanks.

Perfect thank you. There are a number of laws that deal with CCTV use; the main one is that of the Data Protection Act which requires data obtained by CCTV to be processed strictly and for strict rules to be followed where this is the case. However there is an exemption for domestic or household processing of personal information including CCTV inmages, as long as this does not involve placing images on a website or making it available to the public at large in another way without good reason. If it is retained for personal use (security etc) then you do not have to follow the above rules (such as erecting signs, maintaining records etc). This means that if a CCTV camera mounted in such a way as to property is overlooking your neighbours property, it is unlikely that you will be breaching the Data Protection Act. However, there is other legislation which deals with harrassment or voyeurism that can still apply in these situations. If the cameras are trained into neighbours windows, particularly bedrooms or bathrooms this can fall foul of voyeurism laws. In addition of the cameras are primarily trained on the neighbours land rather than primarily on your land with some of your neigbours land being picked up incidentally or in addition, then this could amount to harrassment under the Protection Against Harrassment Act unless you can show good reason to be training the camera primarily on their land. e.g. for a drive way there is good reason which is for your security, however if you were training a camera primarily on their back garden this may be less justifiable. Based on what you say if your camera primarily records images on your land but also picks up images of the street and/or some of the neighbours drive, and does not film into their house, there is nothing here that would lend itself to a breach of the Data Protection Act or coyeurism or Harrassment legislation and your neighbours complaints would appear to be legally unfounded. You can record images of the street and this does not need to be blacked out. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me.
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