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Does Neighbour's Camera Contravene Privacy Rights?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 20 Feb 2021 | comments*Discuss
Does Neighbour's Camera Contravene Privacy Rights?


A neighbour has set up a digital camera in his front window looking out to the street. We've seen it pointing only on to our property which borders on to a path used by schoolchildren and people coming to a parade of shops.

He can see the shops also by just moving the camera a fraction on the tripod. Does this contravene any regulations and is there anything we can do?

(G.D, 27 February 2009)


There is nothing inherently illegal about your neighbour deciding to set up a CCTV or another type of digital camera or other video recording device to deter crime, or in some cases to keep records of antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood.

There’s nothing you can do to stop this neighbour from using their digital camera, it may be that they have reason to want to keep an eye on their property, for crime and anti-social behaviour reasons.

Do you know why the neighbour has set the camera up? Has he had problems with the school children for example, and might want to watch them to see if he can catch any troublemakers? Or has he been a victim of theft or vandalism? All of these can be legitimate reasons for his being able to justify using the camera.

It is Possible to Break the Law by Using a Camera or CCTV at Home

The only way that you might be able to take action against your neighbour for recording you and other neighbours, is if you have reason to believe that the camera isn’t there for security reasons.

Having a standard CCTV set up installed in your home doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of the Data Protection Act. If you think that your neighbour may have other and more sinister motives for wanting to have his camera pointing at you – you could use other parts of the law to try and persuade him that you don’t want to be photographed going about your everyday business.

What to Do

If the camera was aimed directly at your garden or another part of your property, you could be able to take action against your nosy neighbour under the Human Rights Act. You would have to be able to prove that your neighbour was violating your privacy by watching you with his camera, and that his use of the camera could be construed as harassment or voyeurism.

You would need to make a complaint to the local police in the first instance, who might ask him to adapt his viewing habits. He may not realise that he is alarming you, so it’s probably worth having a word with him before you resort to these measures.

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justwalked down my street and 2 doors opposite side i felt i was being watched i noticed a camera, on there property but just above the upstairs bedroom window, surely they cant justify a rotatingcamera is for security as they already have one static camera!! got worse when it turned around to watch women jogging!! its just an easy way for nosey neighbours!! hardly a crime hotspot where i live and surely its not legal for it to be filming up and down the street, wouldn't be so worried but i dont know them and its at the same level as my daughters bedroom!!! fuming
minky - 20-Feb-21 @ 2:46 PM
My neighbour has recently put cameras on his house, one of the cameras looks like is pointing at my front door. The camera in question is placed to cover the alleyway part of the house but my front door is right next to the alley, i feel uncomfortable walking in and out my house thinking they are watching, i feel harrassed with this camera in this position. What can i do?
Hanna - 19-Nov-20 @ 9:44 AM
TEE-dont give him the footage back, not until the police has copies or you have copies, similar thing happened to my daughter, the police caught all involved from the film footage, and took all to court, the shortest sentancing was 15yrs & the longest was 25yrs,causing griefience bodily harm with intent to kill
Betty boop - 28-Sep-20 @ 1:25 AM
Just got home to find my neighbour's have installed a camera on the right side of her conservatory which is right next to my garden , so are they invading my privacy
Shaz - 31-Aug-20 @ 6:15 PM
Further to my message below in the street lives herself, son,sons wife,lodger who thinks he's a gangsta hiw wife this is one house over the road his her bloke and at the end of the street is her brother aka worrsell gumedge and next door to him is his drink driver friend
boother - 19-Jul-20 @ 9:59 AM
I live in oddington morton in the marsh home close my neighbours r all a bit older than my family but they keep watching my kids when there .in there garden playing . My self and my wife have seen this and gone outside to say something but they quickly go inside. Then when my wife and myself go in the neighbours come back outside. Recently thay have hadcctv pointed at my garden.something isn't right there people. Need to keep eyes on them
boother - 19-Jul-20 @ 9:25 AM
My neighbors across for me are trying to bully me off the street because I called them out for posing my cat, they won't leave me alone and for 6 months I've said to my wife they are watching us so one again I have to draw them out, tonight im going to put the best hole in his car with my air rifle from the bedroom window my children room, the only way he will know it's me is if his camera is pointing at my house, if so we can go to talk topolice together.
Ariel, - 25-Jun-20 @ 9:45 PM
I’m a single parent and I’ve been having trouble of my next door neighbors well the one that lives there is also supposed to be single but she isn’t and getting 2 lots of benefits and the man that’s there thinks he can out smart the police ????? it hurts because nobody is listening to me my neighbors have been living it up and they are polish they speak perfect English but when the police involved the act stupid and tonight I was painting my wall I’m leaning down painting and my neighbours fella comes up with is phone and he’s recording me it spooked me out because he invaded my privacy and my 2 year old daughter was also out is he in the wrong
Baby bell - 31-May-20 @ 10:56 PM
my next door neighbour has a camera in her bedroom window facing straight into my sons bedroom, we have had the police out but they just said they don't have one and the police walked away believing them even though I have photos of it. What can I do as my son is to worried to go in his own bedroom
tulips - 22-May-20 @ 1:16 PM
My neighbour has cameras fitted to his property at the front of the house which isn’t an issue to me but noticed a small one in his back bedroom it doesn’t look like it set up properly and maybe over looking my back garden.My problem is I have 2 teenager daughters who like all children like to relax in garden & we also have a hot tub,how do I find out where the camera is actually pointingOne more problem we don’t get alonglol
Pxbilly777 - 7-May-20 @ 12:08 PM
This morning I found my next door neighbour filming me on his phone as I was outside have a cup of coffee in my pjs. The only use of this would be for his own personal use and there is nothing breaking the law/tenancy agreement in my garden and it was not for CCTV purposes. My partner is away a lot of work and it is so important that I feel safe in my own home. What can I do?
Hair1234 - 26-Apr-20 @ 12:06 PM
My flat backs on to parking bays but when these have been allocated people leave their vehicle parked under my lounge window opposite the parking bays.Is this legal?
Lou lou - 23-Jun-19 @ 8:41 PM
My Neighbours just hadCCTV fitted which is captured my vulnerablecomplex needs child getting physically assaulted which was premeditated by 14-year-old and an 18-year-old,2 other 17 years goading, they stood on my 14 year head and kicked it the mother condone it and itwas all captured from start to end. My neighbour is back and he’s worried he’s going to get into trouble I’m having is footage. A pcso police officer has told him that we could get into trouble if it goes to court yet a POLICE OFFICIER said we could do this, I’m just wondering if this is true because today he has asked for the footage back and wants to delete, I’m beside myself that these imbeciles are going to get away with it Please can someone help me??
Tee - 4-May-19 @ 10:16 PM
I have had problems with my neighbour, we live in a block of 4 flats we share a communinal garden, it all started with me asking her to pick het dog mess up from round the back door. We ened up having a fight, we both got a warning from the council this was over a year ago. Since then she has done everything in her power to get me chucked out, with no luck. Now 2 weeks ago she put a camera in her front room window facing out so she can watch me going in and out and who I'm with and what I'm doing. Is there anything I can do bout this as it's gone way past talking
BECCABOO - 30-Apr-19 @ 1:28 PM
My neighbour has put cctv cameras up pointing directly on my garden and drive is he allowed to do this as the camera is clearly not being used to protect his property as it’s facing our home ?
Sonicson68 - 14-Jan-19 @ 6:33 PM
A neighbor has cameras that film everyone who walks by his house.He often posts videos on social media to mock and make fun of people in the neighborhood. He also posts videos dogs being walked by owners when the dog goes to the bathroom in his yard.He never contacts the owner of the dog he just publically posts video.How legal is all of this? I do not want to even walk by his house any longer.
JayJay - 27-Dec-18 @ 11:23 PM
Hi I shre a driveway with my neighbour with garages at the back - they have just installed CCTV in the driveway so that they can see everything going on in the driveway. Its scary how they will be able to monitor use of driveway by my family. They will claim its for their security - no burgleries ahve taken place thrrough this route. , however i know hime to be a nosy person and need to build in safeguards agianst his spying and keeping records of our movements - how should i appraoch this please thankyou Julie
Jules - 27-Nov-18 @ 2:57 PM
is it legal for my husband to use spy cams and recording devices hidden in our bedroom. I keep finding the devices and I said no more chances the last time, but took him back as we have 3 children. Then found another in our room today. He knows I’m not having an affair. He’s just a paranoid weirdo. He won’t leave. He’s an alcoholic and moody most of the time. He’s psychologically mentally abusing me. Where do I stand where the law is concerned? He doesn’t think he is wrong.
Canttakethisanymore. - 13-Nov-18 @ 9:46 PM
my neighbour has installed a camera and audio door bell which films into my property and records conversations.is there a law against this ?
Sandylou - 24-Oct-18 @ 11:14 AM
There’s lots of statements on this website about neighbours being able to take action against each other under The Human Rights Act. A private individual or company does not have to comply with The Human Rights Act - so how could the neighbours ever take action? The only parties that have to comply with the HRA are government organisations, either governments, local councils or any other organisation working on behalf of the state.
Excop - 12-Oct-18 @ 1:01 AM
My nabour has bugged my house with listening devices plus pointing cameras on my house,He has had a vendetta since the day i have moved in,He has snippets of us arguin but cut out all the bits of what he has said and making out he has done nothing.Someone Please help me i need to know the law.
chase - 19-Sep-18 @ 1:03 PM
my neighbour does not have cctv cameras up around his property but has video me using a hand held camera. is he allowed to do this???
goody - 3-Sep-18 @ 12:42 PM
Bubbles - Your Question:
I've been having an issue with parking. And my neighbour has twice shouted at me and been very confrontational. I'm really anxious in my own place and to make it worse (and I know it's not fact) another neighbour said that he told him he had been fIlming me park. Can he do this? If I have anyone over they have to park miles away instead of on the drive if we arrange the cars properly. But he's not interested.

Our Response:
In addition to the information in the article, please see the link here.
YourPrivacy - 17-Aug-18 @ 10:46 AM
I've been having an issue with parking. And my neighbour has twice shouted at me and been very confrontational. I'm really anxious in my own place and to make it worse (and I know it's not fact) another neighbour said that he told him he had been fIlming me park. Can he do this? If I have anyone over they have to park miles away instead of on the drive if we arrange the cars properly. But he's not interested.
Bubbles - 16-Aug-18 @ 9:58 PM
I live in the top floor of a flat the guy on the other side who has a balcony has put up a camera and a sign to say he is recording however it can’t be the stair door he is recording as it has a roof over it so must be the pavement and the road/neighbourhood. I live in Scotland is this allowed?
H - 8-Aug-18 @ 6:58 PM
Ok this may sound insane. A man in late 60's moved in our complex, fired his guns few times thought some one was at his door or in his apartment.I called 911 on him, cops came cofiscated his weapons (which was illegal guns he had in his apt) its a been a year criminal case,his trying to get his weapons back. So i and some neighbors had to testify that his not well, judged sent him to mental evaluations. and i go get some security cameras installed in front doors and in my alley and all around my windows.I'm not gonna wait till this man snaps again.wHAT Sucks is that landlord didnt even care so we as tenants been dealing with this physco.
loosecannon - 7-Aug-18 @ 12:38 AM
My housing association are video camera watching me i have done nothing wrong i am disabled and need help i am a victim of bullying on my close my next door neighbor has never spoke to me and I am so polite i say hello to all the people on the close and they don’t even answer me which makes me get home and cry and my depression has got so much worse I don’t know what to do could you please let me know what i need to do thank you very much beth bailey
Beth.B - 3-Jul-18 @ 7:31 PM
Lollipop - Your Question:
My neighbour two doors up has installed two cameras under the guttering of his house and I fear that because they can turn he is can watch me in the garden is there anything I can do?

Our Response:
The gov.uk link here , should help answer your question.
YourPrivacy - 29-Jun-18 @ 2:05 PM
My neighbour two doors up has installed two cameras under the guttering of his house and I fear that because they can turn he is can watch me in the garden is there anything I can do?
Lollipop - 27-Jun-18 @ 8:29 PM
@Emjay - complain to your landlord or management company first, they won't like him installling a CCTV!
DaVU - 18-Jun-18 @ 1:53 PM
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