01206 805994 | info@panthersecurity.co.uk

panther security

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out comprehensive rules for the handling of personal data across the European Union, and this includes the use of CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) systems. If your business operates CCTV in the UK, it is crucial to understand and comply with these regulations to ensure the protection of individuals’ privacy rights. This article outlines the key GDPR rules regarding CCTV to help your business remain compliant.

Legal Basis for CCTV Use

Under GDPR, you must have a lawful basis for processing personal data captured by your CCTV system. The most common lawful bases include:

  • Legitimate Interests: CCTV can be used if it is necessary for the legitimate interests of your business, provided these interests are not overridden by the privacy rights of individuals.
  • Consent: In some cases, obtaining explicit consent from individuals can be a lawful basis, though this is less common for CCTV due to practical difficulties in obtaining consent from everyone filmed.

Transparency and Accountability

  1. Informing Individuals
    • Signage: Clearly visible signs must inform individuals that CCTV is in operation. These signs should include the identity of the data controller (your business), the purpose of the surveillance, and contact details for more information.
    • Privacy Notice: A detailed privacy notice should be made available, explaining why CCTV is being used, how long footage will be retained, and how individuals can exercise their data protection rights.
  2. Data Protection Officer (DPO)
    • If your business is large or processes significant amounts of personal data, you may need to appoint a Data Protection Officer. The DPO will oversee compliance with GDPR and ensure that CCTV use meets legal standards.

Data Protection Principles

GDPR outlines several key principles that must be adhered to when using CCTV:

  1. Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency
    • CCTV use must be lawful, fair, and transparent. Informing individuals about the use of CCTV and the reasons for its installation is essential to meet this requirement.
  2. Purpose Limitation
    • CCTV footage should only be used for the specific purposes stated in your privacy notice, such as security or crime prevention. Using footage for other purposes, like monitoring employee performance, is generally not allowed unless explicitly justified and communicated.
  3. Data Minimisation
    • Only collect footage that is necessary for your stated purposes. Avoid excessive monitoring and ensure that cameras are positioned to capture relevant areas without infringing on unnecessary private spaces.
  4. Accuracy
    • Ensure that the CCTV system captures clear and accurate footage. Regular maintenance and checks can help prevent issues like poor image quality that might compromise the accuracy of the data.
  5. Storage Limitation
    • Do not keep CCTV footage for longer than necessary. Define clear retention periods based on the purpose of the recording and regularly review these periods to ensure compliance. Once the footage is no longer needed, it should be securely deleted.
  6. Integrity and Confidentiality
    • Implement robust security measures to protect CCTV footage from unauthorised access, alteration, or destruction. This includes encryption, secure storage, and restricting access to authorised personnel only.

Individuals’ Rights

Under GDPR, individuals have specific rights regarding their personal data, which includes CCTV footage. These rights include:

  1. Right to Access
    • Individuals can request access to their personal data captured by CCTV. Your business must provide a copy of the footage within one month of the request, free of charge, unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive.
  2. Right to Rectification
    • If the footage contains inaccurate or incomplete data, individuals have the right to request correction.
  3. Right to Erasure
    • Also known as the “right to be forgotten,” individuals can request the deletion of their personal data in certain circumstances, such as when the data is no longer necessary for the purposes it was collected.
  4. Right to Restrict Processing
    • Individuals can request that the processing of their data be restricted under certain conditions, for example, if they contest the accuracy of the data.

Regular Audits and Reviews

To ensure ongoing compliance with GDPR, it is advisable to conduct regular audits of your CCTV system. These audits should assess the necessity and proportionality of CCTV use, the effectiveness of signage and privacy notices, and the security measures in place to protect the footage.


Complying with GDPR when using CCTV in your business is crucial to protect the privacy rights of individuals and avoid potential penalties. By understanding and implementing the rules outlined in this article, you can ensure that your CCTV system operates within legal boundaries and respects the data protection rights of all individuals.

For further assistance with GDPR compliance and CCTV implementation, contact Panther Security. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of data protection and ensure your business remains secure and compliant.