According to the Telegraph, following a number of complaints from neighbours claiming those with CCTV cameras have been spying, household security cameras may be subject to tighter regulations in the UK. SnDElctrical investigates!
The government’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter, claimed that he will ensure guidelines are released as to how these systems are used in private estates and homes.
Though there is a possibility these guidelines will not have an impact on the number of complaints and the current concern of this security feature, Mr Porter commented saying he “may recommend further regulation.”
The complaints are mostly based on privacy, or a lack thereof and many have claimed that their neighbours’ systems are pointing towards their property. This isn’t the only worry though, as there have also been concerns centred on drones.
Mr Porter commented on the issue in an annual report, stating, “The use of surveillance camera systems within domestic environments continues to grow.”
“The cost of domestic CCTV systems is minimal as electrical retailers now sell HD domestic CCTV systems for a little over £100.”
“This upsurge in domestic use is directly responsible for an increase in complaints around their use. It is within my remit to refer to government any emerging issue that may require further regulation.”
He continued by saying that he intends to provide clear guidance to not only users, but retailers and installers as well. He said: “I cannot rule out making recommendations to government if the growing uneasiness continues and guidance is seen as ineffective.”
He commented saying that the majority of concerns are focused on the lack of privacy for neighbours in domestic settings. The new guidelines are said to come into effect by March 2015.
It must be noted that whilst commercial systems have to abide by certain regulations, those used for domestic purposes do not as it stands. Director of the privacy group Big Brother Watch, Emma Carr, said: “Domestic users of CCTV need concrete rules to show when it is and isn’t acceptable for their CCTV cameras to be used.”
“Tinkering around the edges of guidance simply won’t help individuals and families who feel that they are being snooped on by their neighbours. Worryingly, nobody seems to have any idea whose responsibility it is to ease complaints regarding the use of domestic CCTV.”
She concluded by mentioning “the police have not seen it as a harassment issue, and the Information Commissioner has failed to see it as a direct Data Protection issue.”
“As domestic CCTV cameras used by private individuals continue to increase across Britain, a clear complaints process is necessary to protect all citizens from intrusive surveillance.”
Though it is clear that guidelines or regulations need to be put in place to protect the privacy of neighbours, CCTV cameras are still an important security feature that enables families to feel safe in their homes. They offer peace of mind for those who feel unsafe or threatened in their neighbourhood. Click here to see our range of UK security cameras for extra confidence.