CCTV monitoring

Increasingly, CCTV has become the principal method of carrying out surveillance of areas that may be accessed by the public as well as becoming commonplace in many workplaces in a variety of industries.

While CCTV has an obvious crime-prevention role in public places, its use in the workplace as a means of observation of staff is both less obviously beneficial, and considerably less accepted. Employers who use CCTV in the workplace need to ensure that doing so does not affect overall levels of trust in the employment relationship.

In the UK, most CCTV systems will be covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 (the DPA).They should therefore familiarise themselves with the requirements of the DPA and the Information Commissioner’s CCTV Code of Practice.

Before installing a CCTV system, an impact assessment should be carried out to assess whether the use of CCTV is justified or whether another, less intrusive solution (such as improved lighting in a car park), could achieve the same objectives.

A policy regarding the use of CCTV systems by camera operators and retention of images should be implemented.

Warning signs should usually be posted, and the organisation must ensure it is able to comply with data subject access requests for images.