With CCTV technology becoming more readily available and affordable at the consumer level, we’ve been seeing an increase in inquiries related to homeowners and landlords who have installed cameras on their property.

Whether you’re concerned about an installed CCTV or are thinking about getting a CCTV system setup yourself, here are some common questions you may want to keep in mind.

What is CCTV?

Closed-circuit television (CCTV), also known as video surveillance, is the use of video cameras to privately transmit a signal to a specific place such as a monitor, computer or phone often for recording purposes. Homeowners generally use CCTV to record their property as a deterrent method for would-be burglars or vandals. In the event that an incident has taken place, CCTV footage may be able to assist the Police in an investigation.

What am I able to legally record with my CCTV? 

You can record anything on your private property, with some exceptions. If you are a landlord who is renting the property you must disclose and receive consent if you are using CCTV and cannot do so where individuals would expect reasonable privacy (i.e. bedrooms and bathrooms). If part of your CCTV footage captures a neighbour’s property, ensure that it only includes areas that are publicly visible from the road. It is illegal to setup CCTV in public places such as footpaths.

What do I do if I have concerns about a neighbour’s use of CCTV?

If you are concerned about a neighbours use of CCTV we recommend speaking with them directly first. You can also view the CCTV guidelines on the Privacy Commissioner website.

What do I do if someone is in direct breach of privacy laws with their CCTV?

If you feel there has been a breach you can lodge a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner. The Privacy Commissioner investigates the complaint and undertakes a process of conciliation. If the complaint cannot be settled it may be referred to the Human Rights Review Tribunal. If the Tribunal finds there has been a breach it may award a range of remedies including damages and restraining orders. If objectionable material has been recorded and/or shared or promoted Police will need to get involved.

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