Covert CCTV advice applies to everyone, private and commercial clients alike. If a private individual wishes to install a covert CCTV camera in their own property they are entitled to do so and there are currently no laws preventing this. However, there are several points to consider;
- If the camera is recording images outside of the property boundaries i.e. onto a public highway for example then you will not be covered by the data protection act’s (DPA) domestic purposes exemption! A point worthy of note; this is not a breach of the DPA but means you will be subject to it.
- The Human Rights Act 1998, particularly Article 8 should be considered; although the act prevents public authorities from interfering in your private life (unless you are committing serious, crime) everyone has a right to privacy.
During a divorce case an individual contacted a private investigator and asked if they could fit a covert CCVT camera. It was ascertained during the initial meeting the couple slept in different rooms and had effectively sectioned off the house. A solicitors letter confirmed they both had their own personal space within the property. The PI was asked if they could fit a covert CCTV camera into the bedroom to observe suspected infidelity.
The PI informed the individual that they would be happy to place a camera in what was effectively a ‘shared’ public area within the house, anyone entering or leaving the bedroom would be observed by the hidden camera, this option was turned down.
The PI strongly advised against installing the camera in the bedroom and eventually turned down the task, the subject was placed under physical surveillance for a short period and was quickly identified via photographic evidence kissing an individual outside a restaurant, however, 4 weeks later the police visited their office after a complaint had been made relating to an invasion of privacy.
After turning down the client to fit the covert camera they had immediately contacted another private investigation company who installed it without question. It was subsequently found in the bedroom and the police were called.