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Surveillance cameras and GDPR

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: ANPR, Body worn video, CCTV, Drones, Privacy

I have frequently said that technology advances at the speed of light – 0 to 60 in a flash! Well it seems like regulation is doing the same!

We are now less than 12 months from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which are set to be introduced in May 2018.

But first -what are they and why are they important for the use of surveillance cameras?

Well – GDPR?  It’s a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

The primary objectives of the GDPR are to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.

GDPR for surveillance cameras

Why is it important for users of surveillance cameras to recognise the impact of the GDPR? Well, surveillance cameras capture data! This data not only falls within the Data Protection Act 1998 and in turn GDPR. It also falls within the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which states in Part 2 Chapter 1 section 29 (6).

“Surveillance Camera Systems” means

(a) closed circuit television or automatic number plate recognition systems,

(b) any other systems for recording or viewing visual images for surveillance purposes,

(c) any systems for storing, receiving, transmitting, processing or checking images or information obtained by systems falling within paragraph (a) or (b), or

(d) any other systems associated with, or otherwise connected with, systems falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

So, clearly your surveillance camera system will be impacted by the new GDPR. I am working closely with the Information Commissioner and her Office to ensure accurate, timely and surveillance camera specific information is disseminated to the end user and industry.

The ICO have issued some excellent guidance for anybody just coming to terms with the likely changes. 

Third party certification

Over the coming weeks and months we will look at what else will be useful or necessary to support those using surveillance cameras on their journey to compliance. At the same time I can reassure you that we are working hard with certification bodies to adjust our independent third party certification scheme to ensure that if you or your organisation acquire that standard it is very likely that you will measure up to the new requirements under GDPR. Many police forces, local authorities, large retailers and transport networks sit within that category and I aim to broaden that base – outward reassurance to the public concerning inward compliance!

I will be working to ensure that further guidance issued to operators does not risk confusing, duplicating or over bureaucratising what may sometimes appear a bewildering regulatory landscape.

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  1. Comment by Graham Porter posted on

    Tony - liked the DGPR 'intro' information. Hope all is going well and good to see your drive for standards is getting traction in the industry. Graham Porter DellEMC working with ATOS to drive similar standards 🙂 .

  2. Comment by davidbuxton posted on

    Hi Mike. I can understand the concerns. The ICO have published guidance with regards GDPR and the anticipated new data legislation and this is accessible on the ICO web site.


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