"There are no legal restrictions on photography in a public place and no presumption of privacy for individuals in a public place"

The section above in quotes is extracted from Hansard's record of a House of Lords session on 16th July 2008. 

The legislation regarding Home CCTV is very different form the legislation regarding CCTV in commercial premises or those used by public bodies (police forces, local councils etc).

It seems that almost every day we come across articles that claim 'Human Rights Act this' or 'Data Protection' that - the truth is, when you really start to investigate who the Data Protection and Human Rights Acts apply to, you'll realise that you have a lot more rights regarding Home CCTV than you might think.

The Human Rights Act applies to Public Bodies ONLY, not home owners or private individuals.

The Data Protection Act does not apply to individuals holding information for domestic use. (

Below are some extracts from the Police Forces of Grampian and Fife - they're sure of the law!

Home CCTV and the Law UK Legislation.

Q.  My neighbour has installed a CCTV camera and it is pointing towards my house / garden.  Is this a breach of the Data Protection Act?

A.  If your neighbour’s camera is installed on their residential property and being used for their own personal domestic use, they are unlikely to be breaching  the Data Protection Act.  This is because the use of CCTV cameras for domestic security purposes is exempt from the data protection principles.  This applies when a person uses CCTV to protect their home from burglary, even if the camera overlooks the street or other areas near their home.


Users of small systems or home systems which contain less than 3 cameras, which are not remotely operated i.e. they cannot be moved left / right and zoomed from a controller away from the camera, and the information gathered is passed to no-one but the Police, have no requirement to register with the UK Information Commissioner (Data Protection Act 1998), nor place signs, keep tape records etc although placing signage can assist as a deterrent.


Under the Data Protection legislation (Data Protection Act 1998) CCTV installations within domestic premises do not require to be registered with the Information Commissioner, formerly the Data Protection Registrar. There is therefore no requirement to keep records of recordings or place signage around the premises where CCTV is being used.


In June 2001, Fife Contabulary created this page:

We suspect this page may contain some innacuracies, find more about it here

The information below is a collection of articles we've gathered regarding the use of CCTV Cameras in domestic situations. Where possible, we've included a source for the material provided, we don't provide legal advise.

If a neighbour or someone else has pointed a CCTV Camera at your home or property, please click here for information specifc to your case

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