Dash cam laws when using them as a static camera from home (UK)

Russelluk

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Just asking if anyone in the know, as any experience in using a dash cam in your home as a cctv camera, does it come under the same rules and regulations then if though its still classed as a mobile recording device. reason I am asking I've just received a complaint from some local neighbour screaming out the laws to me.
 

Nigel

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What laws would they be?

If it is in your home then it for personal use, so the only relevant laws are the privacy laws, and they will apply whatever camera you use.

As long as you are only monitoring publicly accessible spaces then you should be fine, if you are looking in through neighbours windows then use some masking tape so that the windows are not visible on the video. Of course a dashcam isn't going to see any detail through windows anyway!
 

DashcamDPR

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I don't think it matters what type of camera it is, more the manner in which it's used
 
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Russelluk

Russelluk

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yes due dash cams having wide lens it captures the public footpath and road outside my property. so reading up on the. ICO web site, this is not allowed with domestic cctv so I think in all fairness I could in fact be breaking some rules and regs. of course no private property windows and doors are in view.
 

Nigel

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yes due dash cams having wide lens it captures the public footpath and road outside my property. so reading up on the. ICO web site, this is not allowed with domestic cctv so I think in all fairness I could in fact be breaking some rules and regs. of course no private property windows and doors are in view.
Guidelines and recommendations maybe, but not laws.

For commercial use, presumably including landlords, you would have to comply with data protection laws, but for personal use you are exempt from most of those. Obviously it is good practice to follow the guidelines anyway, and also the data protection laws where appropriate, even though you are exempt.

I think even for commercial use, it is not a problem to record a public footpath as long as you are registered and have a good reason to do it. It is what is done with the data that matters, if it is kept secure and all overwritten within a few days then there is nothing to worry about. The police like public spaces to be recorded!

Put some masking tape on the window in front of the lens if you don't want part of the image recorded.
 

Dashmellow

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yes due dash cams having wide lens it captures the public footpath and road outside my property. so reading up on the. ICO web site, this is not allowed with domestic cctv so I think in all fairness I could in fact be breaking some rules and regs. of course no private property windows and doors are in view.
Here in the US under most jurisdictions the guiding principle is the "Reasonable expectation of privacy". The less private an area is, the less likely a reasonable expectation of privacy exists. So, surveillance cameras observing a public footpath or a (public) roadway outside one's property would be perfectly acceptable.
 

c4rc4m

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I believe in the UK it's permitted for the camera to catch some of the pavement / road / property beyond if the camera is primarily aimed at your property with the intention of protecting it. It would be nigh on impossible to eg protect your driveway without capturing the road beyond. I believe the focal point is going to be the key. I have heard it said it's legal to point a camera at your parking spot on the road to protect your vehicle. Unsure on that one. However, many cameras do catch property beyond incidentally. Many PTZ style cameras (the rotating domes) detect and follow movement and so may track eg vehicles down your road (not that anyone from the road can see where they're looking). So there is an un-avoidability to some some over spill. What's definitely not permitted is pointing the camera directly at a neighbours property ie house / garden with the intention of watching them or with deliberate excessive over spill for the same. Over spill probably not an issue at the front of your property so much as the back.

Also, some other points:

1. I'd almost certainly say it's going to be classified as a CCTV camera if not mounted in a vehicle but static on a house. The law is more likely to look at the purpose than the camera.
2. CCTV Data laws don't to my knowledge apply to a private household ie signage, data officer requirements etc,
3. Who is going to enforce this against you? The neighbour would have to sue for being captured on the pavement and then I'm guessing he'd have to prove it was focused intentionally at the pavement rather than incidentally. Remember this footage - made the news and police used it. Woman caught throwing a cat in the bin. The camera here appears specifically to be aimed at protecting a parking spot and captures more road than property:



4. Why is the neighbour so against the camera, something to hide?

This is just my opinion and naive understanding of laws on which I'm no expert. You need to consult a Solicitor or other legal professional for formal advice to rely on. I disclaim any liability for errors / reliance on my opinion.
 

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