Spy cameras and the law – what you need to know
Security cameras are frequently used to protect property and to deter crime. They are commonly employed by businesses, government bodies and local authorities, but today these cameras are being purchased by vigilant homeowners looking to secure their premises and keep their family safe.
As a large supplier of spy cameras, we have seen sales soar in the last few years, particularly among those wanting to take security issues into their own hands. Stats show that thieves are less likely to attempt a break-in when they are aware that they are being filmed, and spy cameras are a popular tool for collecting the evidence required to ensure a criminal in convicted.
But what does the law say about using security and spy cameras in the home and workplace? In this article, we explore the legalities of deploying spy cameras to ensure that you do not cross lawful or ethical lines.
Reasons to use a spy camera in the home
First, it’s important to determine why it makes sense to purchase a spy camera for your home. For some, the reason behind installing a spy camera may be to identify a thief in the case of a break in. For others, there may be an issue of security, a restraining order or something else that makes a person feel unsafe in their home.
Perhaps you are thinking about setting up a nanny cam to monitor a child’s safety when they are in the care of a babysitter or childminder. These are one of the most common uses for spy cameras as they give a parent or carer peace of mind when they are unable to be present, either due to work or travel. If you are considering installing a nanny camera, read our article on keeping a legal eye on your babysitter.
You may be considering the purchase of a spy camera to protect elderly members of your family to ensure they are receiving appropriate care or that they are not in harm’s way. For more information about this, read our article on the importance of elderly monitoring devices.
Some people also employ the use of spy cameras to monitor cleaning staff or in-house employees to ensure they are not breaching confidence, stealing, or conducting illicit behaviour while they work in your residence.
Spy cameras and the law
We should first point out that it is illegal to set up a hidden camera in any property or room where the individual would expect to have privacy. This may include bathrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms or swimming pools. An exception to the rule here may be when the person installing the spy camera has a parental responsibility.
Bedrooms as also considered an invasion of privacy – an exception to the rule here, however, may be when the person installing the spy camera has a parental responsibility for the room owner, or the room is shared by the camera owner (eg. with a partner). It is also illegal to hide a spy camera in someone else’s home.
While the use of hidden cameras is generally acceptable in common areas of the home, there are others which may breach a person’s private and rights. To ensure you are acting lawfully, it’s best to further research the specific laws or speak to the spy camera experts.
Human Rights Act 1998
Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 states that each individual has the right to a family and private life – meaning respect must be shown for their home and correspondence. The Article also indicates that there must be some level of justification for any interference with personal privacy. State and public authorities are permitted to do so if the interference has obvious legal justification – i.e. when preventing a crime.
Gaining evidence using a spy camera
If you intend on using a hidden camera to capture evidence of suspect behaviour, it’s imperative that you do so in a way that complies with any legal restrictions. Failure to do so may result in the evidence being unusable during a trial.
If you are using CCTV, the police may advise that the installation fully adheres to any legal restrictions that may render the evidence worthless. Householders should make sure they are aware of any consequences and use CCTV security with caution.
Choosing the right spy camera
Spy Equipment UK have an exclusive range of hidden spy cameras and surveillance devices. Our hidden cameras are made using state-of-the-art technology to ensure you capture the best footage every time. They come in a range of household objects, such as clocks, digital radios, smoke detectors, tissue boxes, air fresheners and even pens.
Whatever your reason, we can supply the best product for your needs. Our covert surveillance solutions have the capability to transmit high-quality video images directly to your mobile, PC or laptop, and have the power to record in real time or be viewed historically, making them a popular choice among our customers.
Whether you require a spy camera hidden inside a household object, or outdoor CCTV security to monitor the external premises, our cameras have powerful applications such as motion detection, extensive battery life and night-vision options for any environment or circumstance.
Take a look at our self-contained hidden spy camera deals here.
Spy Equipment UK can help
If you are still unsure about the legal restrictions of using spy cameras or the installation of CCTV, contact us today for more advice and information. At Spy Equipment UK, we are experts in the industry and have years of experience in using hidden cameras.