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Navigating Legal Aspects of CCTV Installation in Businesses

CCTV cameras are a total game-changer when it comes to adding a layer of security for your business – but when it comes to installation, you can’t just purchase a camera and place it at your business premises without forethought!

CCTV cameras need to be installed using industry best practices that account for laws and other subtle legalities that business owners must keep an eye on when investing in a comprehensive CCTV system.

In this guide, we will be looking at the laws and regulations governing the usage of CCTV cameras in businesses. Read on to learn more!


When it comes to safety, everyone has the right to secure their assets and property. Businesses have been using CCTV cameras ever since they became mainstream back in the 1950s. These cameras have proven to be not just excellent deterrents, but also valuable tools that can help solve crimes and catch criminals.

CCTV systems come in many forms, sizes, and functions, but in the context of legality, these cameras follow strict guidelines provided by the government. Since CCTV technology revolves around surveillance and data collection (recording footage), they need to follow several guidelines to ensure the right to privacy for people while providing security to an establishment.

Here are five important legalities to keep in mind before investing in a comprehensive CCTV system:

  • The CCTV system must cover a finite area. The camera must record footage within the boundary of your business, which may include the parking, front area, and back areas. If the CCTV footage covers an entire street or other areas not related to the business, then the footage will be subject to scrutiny by authorities.
  • In case the business wants to cover an area leading up to the business to track criminal activity, it will have to follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines. The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) outlines all the necessary best practices that any CCTV owner must follow. Failing to comply with these laws can result in unwanted legal trouble, so please pick a compliant security company like Calder Security to handle the installation.
  • Business owners need to ensure that the CCTV cameras comply with the laws and guidelines laid out by the GDPR and DPA. This includes purchasing compliant hardware as well. In the UK, manufacturers produce security hardware according to strict standards but there are some off-brand CCTV cameras that may not be compliant. If you want to avoid legal action from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), we recommend that you pick an authorised installer for your CCTV system.
  • As per the General Data Protection Regulation laws, all business CCTV systems are to use the collected data responsibly. As mentioned above, privacy is everyone’s basic right! So, business owners wanting to install a CCTV system must ensure that they account for the protection of other people’s privacy. These laws also give individuals the right to see the information held about them, which includes CCTV recordings.
  • Please keep in mind that if someone feels that they are being recorded unfairly while not being on the business premises, they may file a complaint with the ICO. Once the complaint has been generated, the ICO office will issue an investigation where the business owner will be held responsible for the improper placement of the CCTV system.


Data protection laws are the hallmark of the 21st century. These laws are relatively new but are becoming increasingly important due to humanity’s reliance on technology and the internet in general.

Since CCTV deals with recording people and storing information, these systems must follow the relevant laws.

Don’t worry though, these laws are hardly counterproductive and do not affect the performance of the cameras. In fact, if you follow these guidelines properly, you can in turn enhance business security through proper placement.

Here are some points to keep in mind when installing a CCTV system for your business:

  • Think about where you need a CCTV system on your premises the most. Make sure that these places have a valid reason for being recorded. For example, you can cover the back-alley entrance of the business, especially if it leads to an open street.
  • As mentioned above, CCTV cameras must be privacy-friendly. CCTV cameras must be positioned to avoid breaching the privacy of other individuals around the business. If the business is part of a shared space, the footage must follow the guidelines provided by the relevant authorities to minimise intrusion.
  • For compliance, it is recommended that you register yourself as a CCTV operator with the ICO. This is especially important if you want to monitor areas outside of the business without using privacy masking and filters.
  • Make sure everyone knows that you have CCTV cameras placed around your business. As per regulations, you must put up clear signs that inform people that the area is under surveillance.
  • When it comes to video, there are ways that you can protect the privacy of people and limit exposure by adjusting the angle of the camera, thereby adjusting the footage. However, in the context of audio, things can get complicated. Audio recording is a serious invasion of privacy and is discouraged. Therefore, it must be disabled on all business CCTV systems.
  • Business owners must assume full responsibility for the CCTV system installed on the business premises. Business owners must also ensure that the information is not used for any purpose other than security.
  • Information stamps on the CCTV footage must be up to date. The date and time on the system must be properly set. Furthermore, CCTV footage must be deleted once they are no longer required, preferably within 31 days, unless the security footage is being used as evidence for an ongoing investigation.
  • As per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), individuals being recorded have the right to access CCTV footage. You, as a business CCTV owner, need to be aware of their rights and must furnish the footage at their valid request.
  • CCTV systems need to be maintained not just in the context of hardware, but they must also be regularly maintained to ensure that they comply with the GDPR and DPA.


The data protection laws give several rights to people being filmed on business premises. Here are some of the most important individual rights to keep in mind:

  • Individuals must be informed when they are being recorded. The most common way of doing this is through clear signs. The signs should be put up in open spaces where they are easily readable and detectable by everyone.
  • Individuals have the right to ask for footage where they can be identified. Any individual who visits the business can make an access request, after which the CCTV owner has 30 days to provide them with the footage. In the case that the business regularly deletes CCTV footage, they can choose to simply inform the individual that they do not possess the footage.
  • Individuals visiting a business have the right to ask the CCTV owners to delete any personal information they might have about them, which includes images and video clips.

Please keep in mind that individuals have the right to raise complaints with the ICO if they feel that they are either being unjustly recorded or are not able to access the footage at their request. In this case, the ICO will take legal action against the CCTV owners, especially if they are not following the relevant laws and regulations.


CCTV camera placement is everything. No matter what type of camera you purchase, the placement of the cameras not only determines the level of security for your business, but they can also help you avoid common legalities concerning CCTV camera footage.

Please remember, that a CCTV system that doesn’t fit well with the security requirements can turn out to be a burden for everyone rather than being something to rely on for safety and security. If the camera is placed incorrectly, it could breach the privacy of others, on the other hand, it could also be inefficient at capturing the faces of the people who visit the business.

Here are some important best practices to keep in mind before investing in the best CCTV camera for your business:


As mentioned above, placement is just as important. First, figure out the areas that require the most surveillance in your business. If it is for indoor use only, you do not have to worry about the DPA since you’re operating the cameras on your personal property without any intrusion of others’ privacy.

If used for the outdoors, special care must be taken if the system records areas outside of the boundary wall.

Indoor and outdoor cameras are both effective. However, indoor cameras cannot be used for outdoor surveillance due to their technical and hardware limitations. Indoor cameras are susceptible to external factors such as extreme weather conditions, dust, water, etc.

Outdoor cameras are usually water and dustproof. They are made using durable materials and can provide enhanced footage that can account for low-light scenarios and even sun glares. Outdoor cameras are also usually tamper-proof.

Installation positions

There are primarily two reasons for correctly positioning the CCTV camera in your business:

  • to ensure the camera doesn’t intrude on other people’s privacy by recording areas such as the entire street, and,
  • to ensure maximum surveillance with clear face identification.

Ideally, every entry and exit point of the business must be covered. This includes covering areas such as the front, back, and side doors, along with the windows that lead to high-risk areas. Outdoor areas might include the parking area, the front door area, the back door area, the back alleys, the roof area, and more.

Camera quality and resolution

Business CCTV cameras are available in a range of resolutions ranging from 720p to 4K. In the case of business cameras, you would ideally require a camera with a 1080p resolution or higher.

Please keep in mind that the resolution impacts the detection rate of the camera. If the footage of the CCTV camera is grainy, then there is no use putting up the camera at all!

Power supply and battery

Not all cameras require batteries. Wired CCTV systems work on a constant supply of electricity while some wireless outdoor cameras can run on batteries. However, in the case of a power outage, both are prone to stop working.

This is why backup power or batteries are crucial for both systems, giving you confidence that your CCTV will be running at all times.

Additional features

If you want even more security, then we recommend picking a CCTV system that provides additional features that can strengthen business security. These features can be very handy, like night vision mode, two-way audio function, and in the case of advanced CCTV cameras, even facial recognition that can take CCTV monitoring to the next level.

Some CCTV cameras also offer pan/tilt/zoom features where you can remotely move the camera for the best monitoring angles. This can be useful when you want to precisely control the angle of the footage to not impose on the privacy of anyone around the business.


Budgeting is crucial for picking the appropriate and compliant security hardware. Thanks to market competition, the cost of CCTV systems has been coming down over the years so business owners can get the most out of their money by investing in a comprehensive CCTV system that best fits their business needs.

For example, owing to advances in lens and camera technology, even old-school high-definition (HD) cameras have significantly improved their resolution and video quality, offering the perfect balance of convenience, price, and quality for businesses.

Here are some of the most common types of CCTV cameras for businesses:

  • Bullet CCTV cameras – best for outdoor business surveillance, long-range viewing, and providing great visible deterrence.
  • Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) CCTV cameras – best for wide area coverage, dynamic surveillance, and live monitoring. Can be used for retail, warehouse, and other high-traffic businesses.
  • Network/IP CCTV cameras – best for remote monitoring small offices, provide great scalability, high-quality footage, and advanced analytics (if smart).
  • C-mount CCTV cameras – best for long-range surveillance, wide-angle monitoring, and low-light environments for back alleys or other low-light areas.
  • Wireless CCTV cameras – best for temporary surveillance needs, rental properties, and remote locations, and providing quick installation and convenient surveillance.
  • Dome CCTV cameras – best for discreet surveillance, tamper resistance, wide-angle coverage, and indoor and outdoor use.
  • Infrared/Night vision CCTV cameras – best for low-light environments, nighttime surveillance, and outdoor security for businesses.
  • Day/night CCTV cameras – best for outdoor surveillance and providing unobstructed and 24/7 surveillance.


At Calder Security, we offer a comprehensive solution for CCTV cameras that are state-of-the-art and comply with CCTV laws and regulations.

We understand the special security and safety needs of various properties and offer professional installation services for CCTV systems bespoke to each property.

We are expert SSAIB-approved security system installers and supply only high-quality CCTV equipment from trusted brands such as Hikvision, one of the world’s leading CCTV manufacturers.

We conduct every aspect from surveys, design, specification, and installation ourselves, and our professional repair and maintenance services ensure that the CCTV systems work in optimal condition all year round, guaranteeing effectiveness and compliance with the law.

We also offer professional CCTV monitoring services that help detect criminal activity and security breaches as they are in progress for the appropriate action to be taken, even when the property is empty.

Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 9799 to talk to our security experts right away!

Photo by Joe Gadd on Unsplash