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What Are The Rules For CCTV in Businesses?

What Are The Rules For CCTV in Businesses?

CCTV security systems are an effective means of keeping tabs on your business premises to help prevent people from stealing from you or vandalising your property.

In this modern world of data protection, however, there are strict rules in place regarding recording, obtaining and storing CCTV footage. It’s essential that you understand and follow these rules, otherwise you might find that it’s you in trouble with the law rather than those you’re hoping to catch on camera.

We covered aspects of the law regarding CCTV cameras as they relate to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in a previous article, but it’s worth reiterating some of the major points from that article together with a few other regulations that you need to be aware of.

What are the rules for CCTV in businesses?

Before installing and using any cameras 

  • Register your intent to become a CCTV operator with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and say why you want to install the cameras
  • Complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) to identify potential risks to the privacy of those likely to be filmed
  • Publish your DPIA along with details of someone within your organisation who can be contacted regarding any issues to do with your CCTV system
  • Mount clearly visible signs that let people know that the cameras are there and why they are there


  • Make sure your staff understand policies, procedures and restrictions surrounding the use of the CCTV surveillance and footage
  • Ensure the date and time are set correctly – this could be critical should you need to use footage as evidence 
  • Keep any footage being stored securely and implement a disclosure policy
  • Audit your CCTV operation regularly to ensure you are staying fully compliant with the regulations


  • Place your cameras in private places, such as toilets and changing rooms
  • Record conversations between the people you are filming
  • Use your cameras for any other purpose than those you have said you are using them for in your DPIA
  • Allow your staff access to footage unless they have been properly authorised and viewing it is a legitimate part of their job
  • Keep images for any longer than necessary – this is quite a vague guideline, but is generally understood to be 31 days if there have been no legitimate requests to view it in the meantime

Storing, releasing and disposing of images

  • Individuals can request your footage, but only where they have been captured alone, with no third parties present
  • Legitimate requests for disclosure must be carried out within 30 calendar days
  • You can not release images to the media
  • Police can have access to your footage for the purposes of criminal investigation
  • Insurers and solicitors can also request footage in its entirety where appropriate
  • As previously stated, footage must be disposed of after about 31 days if there is no reason to do otherwise 

Penalties for non-compliance

  • Businesses are liable for fines of up to £500,000 for failing to comply with ICO published guidelines or sections under the Data Protection Act

Scutum South East is a leading installer of a range of CCTV systems for businesses and organisations operating in the South East of England, including in and around London and Surrey. Find out more about how we can help with the security at your premises by getting in touch with our experienced and friendly team today. 

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About Scutum South East

Scutum South East is a leading expert in fire safety and security solutions for businesses and organisations located across South East England, including London and Surrey.

From fire alarms, fire extinguishers and fire risk assessments to access control, CCTV and intruder alarm systems – and a lot more besides – we offer a comprehensive range of products and services designed to keep you, your business and your staff and visitors safe.

With decades of industry experience to call on, we’re proud to hold accreditations from leading trade associations and bodies such as British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE), the British Fire Consortium, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) and Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

If you’d like to find out more about Scutum South East, get in touch with our friendly team or explore our products and services on our site.