Homeowners with smart doorbells or CCTV warned of £100k fine

Visitor seen pressing the door bell button of a wireless smart home door bell which has an integrated camera and two-way audio. The door is a new, high security uPVC door.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

A warning has been issued by a security expert to homeowners who have smart doorbells or CCTV, as they could face a potential £100,000 fine. Carlos Dhunay, a security specialist from Telcamm, has stressed the importance of legal compliance and effective home security this summer.

Carlos has warned anyone with smart doorbells, CCTV cameras, or other types of home security systems to be aware of the legal regulations to avoid possible fines and legal complications. Homeowners can get in trouble with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for non-compliance.

He stated: "Many homeowners unknowingly break the law with their security cameras and smart doorbells. While having a security system is a great idea, if it records footage outside your property line, like a public sidewalk or your neighbour's garden, you could face hefty fines (up to £100,000) or even criminal charges for violating data protection laws."

Understanding data protection laws

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) apply if your system captures footage beyond your property. This includes neighbouring homes, gardens, shared spaces, or public areas. Failing to comply with these laws can lead to action and fines from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) or legal action from those affected.

Taking steps for compliance

Carlos, an expert in home security, emphasised the importance of signage, stating: "It's increasingly common for homeowners to install surveillance systems for safety benefits. However, it's essential to follow guidelines to avoid unlawfully filming individuals.

"Secretly filming, even on private property, is illegal. To avoid this, put up clear and visible signs at key entry points informing people that recording devices are in operation. This transparency deters crime and fulfils legal requirements."

He also highlighted the need for respecting privacy, adding: "For those considering CCTV or smart camera installations, it's vital to inform neighbours and ensure signs are prominently displayed to notify individuals of the recording.

"Remember, security shouldn't come at the expense of your neighbours' privacy. Inform them and anyone potentially captured on camera, especially if the camera's view extends beyond your property. This proactive approach not only fosters community awareness but also helps in safeguarding privacy and avoiding misunderstandings or complaints."

On the topic of responsible storage, he advised: "When managing recordings, make sure they have accurate timestamps for easy review and have sufficient storage capacity to retain footage as needed. These measures not only support legal compliance but also enhance the effectiveness of security systems in protecting homes and occupants."

Adding to the discussion on specialist installation for compliance, he recommended: "When installing CCTV or smart cameras, consider engaging a specialist security firm. They can ensure that your system is set up in compliance with legal requirements, including proper signage and data protection protocols.

"Expert installation not only mitigates legal risks but also optimises the effectiveness of your security measures, providing peace of mind during this summer season."