The Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply to the use of domestic CCTV. However, the use of cameras for limited household purposes is exempt from the legislation, providing that the field of view is limited to a householder’s own property.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) oversees and enforces data protection law. An ICO document – Domestic CCTV systems: guidance for people using CCTV (undated) – explains:

  • how domestic CCTV can be used responsibly.
  • what the law says if cameras capture images outside the owner’s home and garden.
  • what happens if the law is broken.

Another ICO document – Domestic CCTV systems: guidance for people being filmed (undated) – explains what rights people have if they are filmed on someone’s CCTV system and what action they can take.

The ICO can advise on data protection issues. Contact details are available from the ICO website and include a helpline: 0303 123 1113.

Depending on the specific circumstances, the domestic use of CCTV could be challenged if its use amounted to harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Sources of legal advice are set out in the Library Briefing, Legal help: where to go and how to pay.


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