Data Protection Act

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Since the 24th October 2001 it has been a criminal offence to use an unregistered CCTV system to record people in a public or private place unless it meets certain criteria.

IMPORTANT - GDPR to replace DPA on 25 May 2018

The introduction of the Data Protection Act 1998 and other related legislation has had far reaching consequences for those who own, manage or operate CCTV systems in the United Kingdom. Every aspect of this new legislation impacts upon your use of CCTV.

The Code of Practice contains 62 legally enforceable 'Standards' that must be met to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Commissioner includes a further 30 points of good practice, which together with the standards, are designed to build and maintain public confidence in CCTV systems and to ensure that they operate within the law.

The Data Protection Act 1998 came into force on March 1st 2000 and the Information Commissioner has issued a Code of Practice for CCTV systems. This Code was updated on July 14th 2000 and again in January 2008 and is available from us as part of our Data Protection Information Pack.

You will find at The Data Protection Act and CCTV our own interpretation and summary of the requirements of the act. This however still leaves a number of questions unanswered so we have prepared a Data Protection Information Pack for visitors to this site. This should answer most of the questions that you may have concerning The Data Protection Act and CCTV as well as providing an extensive checklist enabling you to ensure that your organisation is fully complying with the requirements of the legislation.

Our Information Pack contains the following:

  1. DPA Code of Practice from the Information Commissioner's Office. This explains what the law requires of you if you have a CCTV System.
  2. Our DPA Self Assessment Pack providing further details on the law and a simple checklist for you to ensure that your organisation is complying with the DPA.
  3. DPA Catalogue of items that you may need in order to comply with the requirements of the DPA. e.g. Signs, Download CDs or DVDs, necessary forms, etc.
  4. An order form should you wish to order any of the catalogue items.

If you would like a copy of our Information Pack then contact us and put "DPA Information Pack". This pack will be sent by e-mail in PDF format.

Ensuring that an organisation's CCTV system is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act can often involve weeks of work. Very often this time is spent reinventing the wheel as VeriFi can conduct a full professional assessment of your system and provide full documentation and comprehensive advice on where your system meets or fails to meet current legislation and official guidelines. However, a VeriFi Assessment goes much further than this in that it sets up a complete framework on which to base your CCTV management. Click here to see what is available under the VeriFi service.

(Contact us if you are planning to install a new CCTV system as it is easier and less expensive, to ensure that the system is designed in line with the Data Protection Act rather than pay for compliance retrospectively.)

We can also recommend an excellent Data Protection Awareness Training Course for organisations requiring half day in-house training for staff that have responsibilities regarding the DPA.

The police state that 80% of CCTV evidence is inadmissible in court. Causes of such failures include inadequate documentation, lack of audit trail and incorrect recording of evidence.

We recommend that you ensure that you are fully compliant with the DPA as having spent thousands of pounds on the installation of a CCTV system it is indefensible to then have the evidence rendered unusable by the relatively small lack of investment in procedural items.

Almost all CCTV systems are required by law to register under the Data Protection Act with the Information Commissioner's Office as well as having, as a minimum, the following items:

  1. A Small System Checklist. We supply this free of charge with our Management & Download Pack below.
  2. A Management and Download Pack. This contains DPA Compliant CD's or DVD's for recording incidents as well as the necessary forms that you need to log system maintenance, the passing on of evidence to the Police or a third party and other items that may require an audit trail in the event of recordings being required as evidence.
  3. The Correct Signage. This may need to include your organisation's name and contact details.

Please use the above links to view further details of these products and contact us if you would like help in putting together the correct Data Protection Pack for your business.

Should you have pictures where some peoples' faces need to be obscured we are also able to supply a 'Subject Right of Access Pack' which includes the necessary editing service.