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Can my neighbour record me on their CCTV?

View profile for Joanne Ellis
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Disabled employee who was on long term sick leave spied on by employer and succeeded with discrimination claims

If a neighbours CCTV records onto your property the position is regulated under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and The DPA (Data Protection Act). There may also be a harassment or nuisance claim depending on the extent of the filming and the circumstances of the case.

Under the regulations you have the following rights

  • To be told a CCTV system is being used (which is why you see so many signs)
  • To request a copy of the any CCTV that has filmed you. If the neighbour does not provide it you should make a formal subject access request
  • You can ask for the footage captured of you to be deleted. The problem with this is that you have a right to make a request only, it can be refused if there is a legitimate reason to keep it such as it captures a burglar
  • A right to request that you are not captured on CCTV, again, this is a right to request rather than demand - if the neighbour can provide a legitimate reason to capture CCTV in a particular area the request will be unsuccessful

If the CCTV being captured falls outside of your neighbours property boundaries, they become a data controller under the provisions. If the CCTV is maintained and controlled by a third party they will become the data controller under. 

The data controller has obligations including

  • To process data fairly and lawfully in a transparent manner
  • To collect data only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes (the most common scenario here in a neighbourhood setting is to deter and/ or record burglaries or theft)
  • To ensure the data processed is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed. 

The importance here is the limiting - so if the coverage clearly captures far more than would be necessary to identity an offender it would breach the regulations. The data must also only be stored for an appropriate time - so after a reasonable period of time it is appropriate to delete the footage if it is not required evidentially.

Whilst there have been cases in which the court has decided the CCTV has fallen outside of the legitimate purpose test this is a fine balancing act.The court needs to ensure the privacy of the person being recorded but measure the loss of privacy against the ability to protect property. Each case will turn on it’s own facts.

As always with any issues and potential issues with neighbours the best course of action is to speak with the neighbour, voice your concerns and try to reach agreement. If that fails it is worth taking advice from specialist neighbour dispute solicitors because each situation will be unique.