CCTV in the Workplace - GDPR Compliance

CCTV in the Workplace - GDPR Compliance

Posted 20 December, 2021 at 16:00

Author Ronnie Findlay on behalf of Everything Digital

Many people assume that GDPR is only applicable to personal data such as names, addresses and contact details that are stored on a computer, on Cloud or storage devices. However, you may be surprised to learn that GDPR applies to any information that can identify an individual, including CCTV footage, in a picture or video format. Businesses install CCTV cameras for many reasons such as staff and customer security, staff monitoring, prevention of theft and break-ins, and health and safety reasons. Regardless of their purpose, CCTV cameras need to be installed in compliance with the GDPR rules to prevent the risk of any legal actions. Below we outline some of the steps businesses must take to ensure that their CCTV surveillance is GDPR-complaint. 

Let People Know They Are Being Recorded/Monitored on CCTVGDPR is all about ensuring transparency between a business and the customers or the general public. As part of its guidelines, you MUST inform people that you are collecting personal information, which they can request to access as per the data subject rights. In this case, people need to be informed that they are being recorded on CCTV cameras while they are on your business premises by putting up signs like “CCTV In Operation.” The same applies to employees. They must be informed why they are being monitored through CCTV cameras, in writing, as part of your privacy policy.

  1. Clearly Explain the Reason for Using CCTV Surveillance

 The GDPR has many bases for the lawful processing of personal information. These can be used to explain your reason for using CCTV cameras on your premises:

  • Contract with an individual, which may require a particular process to be monitored.
  • Compliance is a legal obligation for a reason.
  • Vital interests of the person being monitored or protecting someone else’s integrity and life.
  • A public task involving official functions in places like government institutions, schools, hospitals, police departments, etc.
  • Legitimate interests, which outweigh the possible negative impact on the individual’s rights and freedoms. 

You can put up signs to explain why you’ve got CCTV surveillance on your premises or put it in the privacy policy of your company to inform your employees.

  1. Control Access to CCTV

It is vital to limit access to CCTV cameras on your premises. GDPR requires that access to CCTV footage must only be given to individuals who need it to perform a particular job or are required to monitor people for security reasons. While it is acceptable to allow other people to access CCTV footage for other essential reasons, on the whole, businesses must ensure their CCTV access is only given by permission. To do so, you must store your picture and video footage in a secure room that is locked. You must also have proper access control measures in place to prevent unauthorised people from accessing any sensitive data on Cloud and other storage devices. 

  1. Delete Older Footage That’s No Longer Relevant

It’s not practical or ethical to store data from many years on your system. Hence, most organisations have a fixed retention time until which they store any sensitive data. The GDPR states that businesses can only store information until necessary for a reason and must determine this timeframe before processing any data. Once the deadline for data retention has passed, all the information must be deleted. 

Installing CCTV cameras on your business premises requires careful thought, consideration, and research to ensure no laws are ever broken. Businesses must complete a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to identify and minimise the risks associated with data processing and the rights of individuals. You can face heavy fines if found in breach of any GDPR. It is also crucial that you develop a personal GDPR policy for your business, which outlines all the details about permissible data processing through CCTV cameras and the reason for installing CCTV cameras in the first place.

Now that you know all about installing CCTV cameras on your premises and GDPR compliance, why not give LNS a call and secure your premises with the best CCTV surveillance in the market.

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