Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is used for improving security, and preventing and detecting crime through monitoring and surveillance. The Data Protection Act specifies how CCTV images may be used and distributed in order to protect the rights of those captured in the images. Before installing CCTV, learn whether the provisions of the Data Protection Act apply to you and how you can ensure that you comply with them.
What Are The Legal Requirements for CCTV?
If CCTV is used in a businesses or public place, the owner of the system must comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act and related best practice guidelines. For example, sound recording facilities, if any, should be switched off, access to recorded images should be restricted, and a record should be kept of those who view any footage collected.
The Data Protection Act does not apply if the CCTV system is used for household purposes, even if it records part of the pavement or public walkways. However, take care to protect the privacy of neighbours by angling cameras so that they are not intrusive.
The South African law regarding CCTV is as follows:
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 protects privacy in Section 14:
Everyone has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have—
(a) their person or home searched;
(b) their property searched;
(c) their possessions seized; or
(d) the privacy of their communications infringed.
Source credit: Bregmans
Tips for Installing CCTV at Home
Never install it in a private place
This is the first thing that you need to know before you install a CCTV system in your home. If you will install a CCTV system at a private place in your business or other area, then it will be a violation of the law and you may face serious legal issues with that. That means when you install it then you need to make sure refrain places such as toilets, washrooms, changing rooms and similar other places. If you will not follow the rule, then you will surely end up having so many legal complications as installing CCTV at any private place is a criminal offense. This rule is applicable in every situation regardless of the place where you are installing it.
Inform others about the CCTV
When you install CCTV system in your office, business or personal place for monitoring purpose then you need to inform your targeted audience for same. For example, if you are using it in office or in shop, then you can place multiple labels at visible places for same. In those labels, you can simply say this place is under surveillance of CCTV system. If you are going to use it to monitoring of your maid or workers, then you can inform them about same with a verbal and written communication and that will keep you away from any legal issues.