Home > Ask Our Experts > Does Neighbour's Camera Contravene Privacy Rights?

Does Neighbour's Camera Contravene Privacy Rights?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 3 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Does Neighbour's Camera Contravene Privacy Rights?

Q.

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)

A.

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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My neighbor has installed a doorbell\ camera monitor on his door that has a built in motion detectors.His apartment is located directly across from me so every time I open my door or enter my door space I am being monitored. The other day he knocked on my door so that i would open my door and be photographed as he casually removed himself from the doorway allowing his camera to photograph me in my robe. I simply shut the door and thought nothing of it until now. Can I take legal action against him for invasion of privacy?
Jd - 3-Feb-17 @ 9:59 PM
I've been having problems with my neighbor since the day I moved in my apartment. They have torn up my flower beds, put their vehicles directly in front of my apartment to keep my company from parking there when they visit and now they have put a camera in their window and I suspect it's so they can record my visitors coming and going, in an attempt to take the video to the apartment manager to get me evicted.Is that legal? What legal recourse do I have?
Amy - 7-Jan-17 @ 6:02 AM
We have had problems with our neighbours for over 18 months, and had to seek advice from Environmental Health and the police on a number of occasions.The man 2 days ago accused me of looking at his kids from the window.Actually it was my husband who looked out of the window as he came in, no kids with him, and it was not deliberate, unlike their actions towards us, have catalogued what has happened as it is on a daily basis, verbal abuse, threats, coming out to listen to conversations between my husband and myself and visitors, etc.My husband was checking if it was raining before he closed the blind, which is something I do whether at the front or back, this was after 7.00pm.He came round and thumped on our door, which was when he accused me.I was downstairs watching a programme on TV with the curtains closed, but he did not believe me!Things got heated, my husband went outside to continue the "conversation" and closed the door.I heard next door shouting, so rang the police, who came around within minutes, they were "in the area".They told us if this recurs then to ring them again.I am now frightened to open the curtains or blinds, in case of being accused of "watching their kids" or watching her (she is at home all day), or go outdoors in the garden when my husband is not there, and have to use the other door, which is further away from our garage and car.I also stay out if I have to go out, even if it means spending money or drifting around garden centres or shops just to waste time, when I could be at home doing things.On the other hand, she has got her next door neighbour spying on me, I actually heard her reporting what I had been doing!You could not make it up.On that night he admitted to videotaping me watching out of our window, and I have seen her taking photos of me in the garden.I have never taken photos of her kids, only her when she denied smoking over our fence and I have photos to prove she is lying.She also puts her butts into our garden, these I have taken photos of when they are all out, and she started a fire one day and all the smoke from the plastic chair she deliberately set fire to came into our bedroom.Can anyone advise what to do next, it is affecting our health?
CathyB - 2-Nov-16 @ 11:07 PM
I live in portland Oregon. I was recently evicted based on discrimination. My boyfriend is black and shortly after meeting him my neighbors started harrassing me. First they made complaints calling cops saying someone was fighting at 2am when cops came they seen no-one was home but me. They stop my company when leaving asking there business there and then call cops stating I'm running a drug house.once again cops came and stated they could see no drugs here.. I'm also HIV positive and once this was known I have been evicted because 6 tenants signed a petition wanting me out because they the tenants claim that this complex is an "old folks home" and I don't belong there.. Now 2 days ago I started hearing a dinging noise when I open my bedroom blinds or open .u front door or go outside. I noticed this morning that my neighbor that lives across me has 2 cameras mounted on his truck facing my front door..I also have a video record with landlord stating that I'm pretty much being discriminated against.. I am the first and ONLY tenant in 25 years that he has EVER evicted.. I'm scared to be in my own home.and scared that people are at my bedroom window..what can I do?? Please help me.
karen - 2-Sep-16 @ 6:08 PM
My neighbor has had hidden cameras viewing not just me but other neighbors. I the flicker throughout my house, including bathrooms. Caught him 2.5 years ago standing at his camera on a tripod aimed at my 3rd floor bathroom window, lit him up with a mirror. all of this after a rogue monkey was caught in the wooded lot between us. I believe this is where his lust of voyeuristic behavior began. I've complained to police only to be dismissed...asked if I live alone. I've tried everything I know to find these with no success. Who do I call out to find these cameras?
Lynn - 25-Aug-16 @ 6:01 PM
Coco - Your Question:
Hi my nowbungalow is in a cul-de-sac when I bought it the side of the bungalows garden opposite which is raised about 10ft had trees and shrubs so was completely private they have now removed the trees and made a patio area which now has them looking straight into my bungalow I've to keep my blinds close to protect now planning can I do anything ? I cannot put any fencing etc up as my front is open plan HELP

Our Response:
I can only suggest speaking to your neighbour in order to come to a solution, as there is no real privacy rights here. If your neighbour disagrees you may have to plant your own trees or shrubs in order to block the view. A landscape gardener may help you come up with a plan.
YourPrivacy - 25-Aug-16 @ 2:37 PM
Hi mynowbungalow is in a cul-de-sac when I bought it the side of the bungalows garden opposite which is raised about 10ft had trees and shrubs so was completely private they have now removed the trees and made a patio area whichnow has them looking straight into my bungalow I've to keep my blinds close to protectnow planning can I do anything ? I cannot put any fencing etc up as my front is open plan HELP
Coco - 20-Aug-16 @ 12:56 PM
Hi my bungalow is in a cul-de-sac when I bought it the side of the bungalows garden opposite which is raised about 10ft had trees and shrubs so was completely private they have now removed the trees and made a patio area which now has them looking straight into my bungalow I've to keep my blinds close to protect my privacy they have also built a brick step access off the pavement to this with no planning can I do anything ? I cannot put any fencing etc up as my front is open plan HELP
Coco - 20-Aug-16 @ 12:52 PM
There is now an update to CCTV Law regarding domestic properties. CCTV cameras used on a domestic property MUST NOT capture images beyond the boundary of that property. They MUST NOT record images from a neighbours garden OR passers by on the street. In December 2015, the Data Protection Law was updated to include domestic properties in the Data Protection Act, which means if your cameras are not restricted to the foundry's of your home, then it must be a registered system. However, you will also be contreveining Article 8 of the Human Rights Act if you are recording images outside of the boundary. Also on a final note, Audio Recording is not permitted on a domestic system and it is advised to turn it off.
AndyNWuk - 17-Aug-16 @ 7:59 AM
Hi, please help i live in tennanted with a private landlord, they want to sell 6 weeks early and have prospetive buyers come around, can i record them so they cant steal anything as all of my belongings are here, its not the best estate and i know someone will split up at least i could record a before and after and challenge them straight away...
Daz - 26-Jul-16 @ 12:35 PM
Trog - Your Question:
My neighbour has numerous ct camras in the front of his house as he has got several cars on his land which I understand but recently I have had a few mixed words with him now he has put a wide angle lens camra up in the rear of his garden which he says it's too keep an eye on his dog which would be okay but the camra is intruding on to my garden and my Lodges are not very happy, feel uncomfortable and won't go into the garden. Is there anything I can do as I'm worried that my lodges will leave and they have been living with me for many years and it's there home.

Our Response:
As specified in the article, it’s probably worth having a word with him or sending a letter to ask him to change the angle of his camera away from your house and keep a copy of the letter. If he does not respond, or refuses, then you can make a complaint to your local police.
YourPrivacy - 20-Jul-16 @ 12:57 PM
My neighbour has numerous ct camras in the front of his house as he has got several cars on his land which I understand but recently i have had a few mixed words with him now he has put a wide angle lens camra up in the rear of his garden which he says it's too keep an eye on his dog which would be okay but the camra is intruding on to my garden and my Lodges are not very happy, feel uncomfortable and won't go into the garden. Is there anything I can do as I'm worried that my lodges will leave and they have been living with me for many years and it's there home.
Trog - 19-Jul-16 @ 6:49 PM
In 2014 I was able to have an injunction placed against a neighbor that lives in my townhome community 2 doors down. This lady is our local crazy lady. The judge remembered her from the 80's from being in his courtroom. I ended up moving and renting my place to escape the lady but a divorce has caused my 11 year old daughter to be forced to move back. When my renters were moving she put surveillance night vision cameras up all around her place. I didn't realize until 2 months ago that she has a camera almost on her roofline pointed only at my townhome. My front door, my daughter's bedroom window and my daughters former homeschool room windows are all in view. It's not point down at her property, her patio, or her back sliding door. I have asked the police to do something about this and they say she has every right to point cameras anywhere she wants. I see this as an extension of her harassment and intimidation of me and our neighborhood. They refuse to even write a report up regarding the issue for me to have paperwork to take to the judge. Help please!?!I am in the state of Florida
Jennifer - 17-Jun-16 @ 6:07 AM
My neighbor has a shed against my fence with a small openning to allow a video camera to view directly into my bedroom and bathroom windows. He and his son have physicaly attacted me in recent past. He has accused me of having whorse, selling drugs, and many other illegal activities. Hes taken videos and pictures of my girlfriend, nieces, brothers and friends. All on my property or parked in front of my house. When confronted he makes jestures like he is going to hit them then starts yelling and cussing while calling the police. He has thrown rocks and sticks at their cars. He has even falsly reported that i had a gun while i was working on my girlfriends car. When police arrived all he got was a warning. When he and his son attacked me i had just been released from the hospital from a heart attack and they knew this. Again they give his son a warning and could not find him. I cant afford a restraining order. What do i do?
Guarded - 4-Jun-16 @ 8:54 AM
I have restraining order on my neighbors for threatening and pulling a gun at my 13 yr.Old. Now my neighbor are retiliating by flipping off and thriwibg gang signs into my cctv cameras.furthere more I believe that they have filed complaints against me ib retaliation. I have no idea what they have on me to complaun about. My cameras are in compliance Iwas told by my llocal law enforcement officials. Police have been at my residence while im not there. Leavibg a note ti cobtact number on card. Card state its a cival matter .what are my options an what can I do to protect myself from what ever conplaint was made against me. My neighbor are gang members they sell drugs and have illegal activity ib plain view of my cameras.please will someone help guide me in thedirectionImust go to fight against tgis type of abuse. Is it another type if harrassment. Thank you in advance.
noe - 29-May-16 @ 8:06 AM
I have trouble with the people next door about a strip of land between our garages and I think they now have cctv in their kitchen near the windows. there is a monitor (I think) it is....it glows a vivid blue glow.. Can anyone tell me if this is a camera.
pip - 23-May-16 @ 11:29 PM
Sweeney33 - Your Question:
Hi I have old neighbours who own there house we are council the new neighbours have been having trouble with them with the old neighbours intimidating them so they have cameras up now the old people next door have put cameras up but there camera is facing right on to my property ie my front door we don't talk to them as they have a habit of reporting us all the time we keep yourself to yourself ignore them and don't talk to them they have started inirimidating us now aswell bit then they play the victim I have 3 young kids so I feel we are being watched 24/7 they even stand behind there gate earwigging at my conversations I have no privacy whatsoever especially now. And the worse of all they used to spy behind there nets before the cameras but they issue is between the two neighbours and I'm stuck in the middle can I do anything to get the camera looking away from my house they haven't even asked me permission to have it look at my house thank you

Our Response:
This is a similar matter to the comment below, to which I can give the same respsonse. I think in your case I would have a word with the Housing Association directly in order to see whether they are contravening any of the tenancy agreement. Otherwise, your only option is to take the advice of the last sentence in the article, i.e 'you would need to make a complaint to the local police in the first instance, who might ask your neighbours to adapt their viewing habits.'And/or possibly have a word with them first and ask them to move the cameras so they are not so near your house.
YourPrivacy - 18-May-16 @ 12:20 PM
Hi I have old neighbours who own there house we are councilthe new neighbours have been having trouble with them with the old neighbours intimidating them so they have cameras up now the old people next door have put cameras up but there camera is facing right on to my property ie my front door we don't talk to them as they have a habit of reporting us all the time we keep yourself to yourself ignore them and don't talk to them they have started inirimidating us now aswell bit then they play the victim I have 3 young kids so I feel we are being watched 24/7 they even stand behind there gate earwigging at my conversations I have no privacy whatsoever especially now. And the worse of all they used to spy behind there nets before the cameras but they issue is between the two neighbours and I'm stuck in the middle can I do anything to get the camera looking away from my house they haven't even asked me permission to have it look at my house thank you
Sweeney33 - 17-May-16 @ 6:53 PM
chicken pie - Your Question:
I have lived in my property 19 yrs. Next door her 14 and her husband 10. I have 2 police incident numbers against them already. Over the past 3 yrs of them saying I carnt look out of my window,my security camera was illegal on the communal gate,then they both came on my property shouting at me again because the guttering had been leaking for 5/6 yrs every time we had a down poor to which my house flooded twice water coming in from next door. Then they received a letter from my housing ass. She came round asking who informed them of the house flooding. Well me of course ,I said it is there property. She was,nt too happy. Now the have 2 cctv cams at the front. I have had my cctv in the middle of my house for 16yrs under my bedroom window.One of the cameras is about 4ft away from my bedroom window. They have been checked by my housing, but like someone said you can pan up,down side to side. Mine does,nt do this. The lad who is 33,I,m 61 next month is very anti social, he can argue with a 60 yr old but when a few lads kicked his fence in he dared not go out. What is worrying me is I have no privacy as I no they are listening when we are out in the garden. We don't say much even inside the house if we have the windows open with the cctv camera so close to my windows. There must be a law for this.

Our Response:
I think in your case I would have a word with the Housing Association directly in order to see whether they are contravening any of the tenancy agreement. Otherwise, your only option is to take the advice of the last sentence in the article, i.e 'you would need to make a complaint to the local police in the first instance, who might ask your neighbours to adapt their viewing habits.'And/or possibly have a word with them first and ask them to move the cameras so they are not so near your house.
YourPrivacy - 16-May-16 @ 1:53 PM
I have lived in my property 19 yrs. Next door her 14 and her husband 10. I have 2 police incident numbers against them already . Over the past 3 yrs of them saying I carnt look out of my window,my security camera was illegal on the communal gate,then they both came on my property shouting at me again because the guttering had been leaking for 5/6 yrs every time we had a down poor to which my house flooded twice water coming in from next door. Then they received a letter from my housing ass. She came round asking who informed them of the house flooding. Well me of course ,I said it is there property. She was,nt too happy. Now the have 2 cctv cams at the front. I have had my cctv in the middle of my house for 16yrs under my bedroom window.One of the cameras is about4ft away from my bedroom window. They have been checked by my housing, but like someone said you can pan up,down side to side. Mine does,nt do this. The lad who is 33,I,m 61 next month is very anti social, he can argue with a 60 yr old but when a few lads kicked his fence in he dared not go out. What is worrying me is I have no privacy as I no they are listening when we are out in the garden. We don't say much even inside the house if we have the windows open with the cctv camera so close to my windows. There must be a law for this.
chicken pie - 15-May-16 @ 10:03 PM
My son caught a neighbour with a phone camera pointed at my house is at the back of theirs so can see the bed room windows we was sat in the house with my son whose 20 by the patio window .he said there's someone with a camera phone pointed at us is it illegal . Don't know if this as been done before you could see the net curtain pulled to one side with the phone showing it scared me
Los - 6-May-16 @ 7:21 PM
My neighbor has a large 360 degree camera about three feet from our boundary.He has full visibility of our garden and the rear of our house including our bedroom.It seems that he can remotely operate the camera as we can see the infra red sensors moving inside the camera housing.We have reported him to the Police who say it isn't a criminal matter as we have no evidence that he is viewing us.We have reported him to the Information Commissioner who has said we should take action via the Police as either anti-social behavior or harassment.So neither will take action.What can we do next to protect our privacy?We have a five year old son and are concerned about his motives for the camera.
Fred - 15-Apr-16 @ 1:24 PM
A new naghbour has put cameras on the front of there house and round the back the back one is facing our back garden and the can see directly into our kitchen and our youngest daughters bedroom she has to have her blinds shut all the time I don't know why they have put the camarers up as we have lived here 16 years and no one has been broken into on our street or there's or on the hole astate that I know of can I ask them to take the back one down?
H - 8-Apr-16 @ 8:59 AM
Hi we have a neighbor that has a camera that shows the public road and parking behind her house how do I stop this ?
Loulou - 2-Mar-16 @ 6:59 PM
Abs79 - Your Question:
HiI saw a van outside my horrible neighbors house 3 days ago saying she was having cctv installed and she is in a council property. She is spying on me, but we do nothing wrong. Can I find out why she is making false claims against us? She's reportred us to social services, csa, everything I keep proving we are legit but she's hell bent on making our life hell

Our Response:
As specified in the article, if the camera is 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 the camera, and that the use of the camera could be construed as harassment or voyeurism. If you have evidence that your neighbour is insistent on reporting you, then this evidence may help your case. You would need to make a complaint to the local police in the first instance, who might ask your neighbour to adapt her viewing habits. However,you neighbour may not realise she is alarming you, so it’s probably worth having a word with her directly, before you resort to these measures.
YourPrivacy - 8-Feb-16 @ 10:04 AM
Hi I saw a van outside my horrible neighbors house 3 days ago saying she was having cctv installed and she is in a council property. She is spying on me, but we do nothing wrong. Can I find out why she is making false claims against us? She's reportred us to social services, csa, everything I keep proving we are legit but she's hell bent on making our life hell
Abs79 - 7-Feb-16 @ 2:58 AM
My neighbor has a CCTV camra that pointing near our bathroom window. We found out that he's been listening to our conversations and disagreements he knows every thing we saypolice have been contacted but useless
Jezz - 30-Oct-15 @ 9:41 PM
My neighbour has a CCTV system which points at everything except his own property.He is extremely rude and maintains he's legal as a domestic system. We live in a leafy low-crime area so I don't know what his reasons are.I've tried to ask questions about it but he's told me point blank not to contact him again.A friend thinks that I should ask for repeated subject data access requests.Although organisations can charge, friend thinks that an individual as he's not supposed to be recording you is not allowed to charge.If he's right my neighbour will be getting a request a day until he moves the cameras.It cannot be right.
furrybadger - 11-Oct-15 @ 6:54 PM
The neighbor directly across the street from us has 2 cameras directly pointed toward our house and another that looks into his yard away from us. He has no cameras in the back of his house. About 5 years ago I was looking out my bedroom window and saw our entire front yard, driveway, vehicles and mailbox being shown on his big screen tv in his front window. This has been very nerve wracking so we installed cameras for security purposes (we have 2 newer model vehicles). I have been taking care of 3 small children of a couple friend of my sons who are going through a divorce. He seems to always show our property on our television when I have the kids (ages 3,5 and 6) or when it is garbage and recycle barrel pick up day when I have to walk out to the curb to bring them back in. We are building a carport to block him from seeing me come and go in my car for some privacy. But I have noticed lately from viewing my cameras that within a minute or two of me leaving, he goes out front and sweeps or does something. This guy never wants to be seen by us and they even drive up to their mailbox to retrieve their mail. I've talked to the local police about this and they have told us to see a judge and ask for an injunction of harassment on him. We have purchased a camera with a zoom lense and have taken pictures of our house from his tv screen. These people are just plain creepy and I'm not going to move. Any advise? Thank you in advance.
LoisAnne - 24-Sep-15 @ 8:09 PM
The neighbor directly across the street from us has 2 cameras directly pointed toward our house and another that looks into his yard away from us. He has no cameras in the back of his house. About 5 years ago I was looking out my bedroom window and saw our entire front yard, driveway, vehicles and mailbox being shown on his big screen tv in his front window. This has been very nerve wracking so we installed cameras for security purposes (we have 2 newer model vehicles). I have been taking care of 3 small children of a couple friend of my sons who are going through a divorce. He seems to always show our property on our television when I have the kids (ages 3,5 and 6) or when it is garbage and recycle barrel pick up day when I have to walk out to the curb to bring them back in. We are building a carport to block him from seeing me come and go in my car for some privacy. But I have noticed lately from viewing my cameras that within a minute or two of me leaving, he goes out front and sweeps or does something. This guy never wants to be seen by us and they even drive up to their mailbox to retrieve their mail. I've talked to the local police about this and they have told us to see a judge and ask for an injunction of harassment on him. We have purchased a camera with a zoom lense and have taken pictures of our house from his tv screen. These people are just plain creepy and I'm not going to move. Any advise? Thank you in advance.
LoisAnne - 24-Sep-15 @ 5:30 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • captain fury
    Re: Patient Privacy in the NHS
    If a doctor is known, with evidence, to be causing harm, falsifying records, defaming patients and its generally agreed by his…
    13 March 2017
  • Dolly
    Re: Your Medical Records
    I called the ambulance to commit my friend who is incredibly unwell. The cop asked my mom if I'm taking my medication. Can cops find my…
    13 March 2017
  • Victory
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    Hello if may ask my employees can record voice with cctv cameras or not because i know is forbidden
    11 March 2017
  • Misty
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    My job includes not just working but living on a private estate. The cctv monitoring system has recently been installed in my own personal…
    6 March 2017
  • Keith
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    Can my boss follow me home after leaving work for personal reasons after he let me go and sit out side my house and take photos as he did…
    3 March 2017
  • anon
    Re: Computer Monitoring In The Workplace and Your Privacy
    can a employer monitor your keystorkes without your knowledge and dismiss you for gross misconduct…
    3 March 2017
  • anon
    Re: Your Privacy Rights at Work
    can a employer monitor your keystorkes without your knowledge and dismiss you for gross misconduct because of this
    3 March 2017
  • Superman
    Re: Why Is Doctor-Patient Confidentiality So Important?
    Hi I am under a doctor for my medication and the resptionist rang my mother and said information…
    1 March 2017
  • nevergiveup77
    Re: Your Medical Records
    Ive just recieved a letter via my solicitor stating i was dianosed with a dissorder which i never saw a doctor about and also it says i had…
    26 February 2017
  • strawberry
    Re: Do They Have the Right to Use My Photo on Website?
    Just found book with picture of my daughter on the top page and my two daughters names in and…
    25 February 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the YourPrivacy website. Please read our Disclaimer.