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Does Neighbour's Camera Contravene Privacy Rights?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 19 Sep 2018 | 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.

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[Add a Comment]
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
I have lived in my flat for 3 years without problems till the new neighbour moved in downstairs, after he openly admitted he took our mail and read it I called the police now he has gone and installed a CCTV above his internal door that over looks where we exit through to the main door. I don’t understand his reasoning in it. Any ideas what can be done here this idiot is beyond approach as he thinks that my home is a part of his.
Emjay - 17-Jun-18 @ 4:40 PM
My neighbor who directly lives behind me has set up what looks to be a web cam sort of camera in his top bedroom window. We have patio doors on the back so can see into my living room. The camera is looking straight at my house, not pointing down towards his garden & it’s making me feel really self conscious. My partner works away so I’m offten alone with the children. I must add before the camera id often see him looking out his window at my house, but I thought I was been paranoid but now this I dont know what i can do, if anything?
G - 16-Jun-18 @ 8:45 AM
@santa - can you ask someone to put a bit of trellis up to block it out? Have you asked her to take it down?
Cooch - 11-Jun-18 @ 11:49 AM
my neighbour has put up a close circuit camera on her shed that faces on the back of my fence in the back garden. i cannot afford a solicitor as i am a 75 year old pensioner and my wife is 80,she is getting stressed ,i cannot get legal aid as i have a little bit of savings for a rainy day. please can you tell me what i can do,i have been to the police and they have advised me to go to a solicitor,i have also been to the council and citizens advice,is there any way around it please kind regards mr john watt
santa - 9-Jun-18 @ 2:51 PM
H - Your Question:
Hi everyone,I have a neighbour who we have lived next door to for 31 years. I grew up with their children and we have had a perfectly ok neighbourly relationship for many many years. I was involved in an accident 3 years ago and am unfortunately now permanently disabled. When the council installed a disabled bay outside my house, my neighbor lost his mind with rage. He still holds regular meetings at the end of my path trying to start up a campaign. He has made every effort with his complaints to the council to have the bay removed and claims I’m not disabled and that he will not “tolerate” a disabled bay being near his house. He has also not moved his car for 9 months as the council suggested they may move the bay a couple of feet towards his house (which has no dropped kerb) as there is a driveway the other side of my house. He has been on this campaign since last summer and has now instructed a solicitor to take us to court with bizarre claims that we are trespassing on a part of his back garden. He is mentally unstable.Worryingly, he has put a camera next to his front door which clearly overlooks my front garden and particularly my disabled bay. He has taken a disliking to the vehicle I currently have there at present too. His main motive is to build a case against me for the removal of the bay. I walk with a stick and cannot feel my entire right leg, and am in constant pain and on morphine etc, whilst holding down a full time professional job. How can I make him stop filming me like this? I feel like a prisoner in my own home.Help?

Our Response:
As specified in the article, you would need to make a complaint to the local police in the first instance, who might ask him to adapt his viewing habits. There is more information on how to deal with such issues via the link here , which may help you further.
YourPrivacy - 8-Jun-18 @ 9:52 AM
Hi everyone, I have a neighbour who we have lived next door to for 31 years. I grew up with their children and we have had a perfectly ok neighbourly relationship for many many years. I was involved in an accident 3 years ago and am unfortunately now permanently disabled. When the council installed a disabled bay outside my house, my neighbor lost his mind with rage. He still holds regular meetings at the end of my path trying to start up a campaign. He has made every effort with his complaints to the council to have the bay removed and claims I’m not disabled and that he will not “tolerate” a disabled bay being near his house. He has also not moved his car for 9 months as the council suggested they may move the bay a couple of feet towards his house (which has no dropped kerb) as there is a driveway the other side of my house. He has been on this campaign since last summer and has now instructed a solicitor to take us to court with bizarre claims that we are trespassing on a part of his back garden. He is mentally unstable. Worryingly, he has put a camera next to his front door which clearly overlooks my front garden and particularly my disabled bay. He has taken a disliking to the vehicle I currently have there at present too. His main motive is to build a case against me for the removal of the bay. I walk with a stick and cannot feel my entire right leg, and am in constant pain and on morphine etc, whilst holding down a full time professional job. How can I make him stop filming me like this? I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Help?
H - 7-Jun-18 @ 1:45 PM
my neighbournextdoor has put up close circuit tv on top of the shed,in the back garden. it overlooks the top of my fenceand looks down the length of my patio,is this illegal please,my wife is 80 years old and it is stressher out
shorty - 3-Jun-18 @ 8:18 PM
Hullie - Your Question:
My neighbour has put up 5 cameras. 2 of them are on my property as we live in 2 story flats. I live upstairs and my flat is on the end facing the car park. So he as put 2 cameras up on my flat without even asking me if this was ok. 1 of my other neighbours as told me that he is watching everyone who comes and goes. And he is watching me more. Because in the passed we have had a run in with each other. And he as told my neighbour he is out to get me. What is the law on this please because I thing he as no right to putting them up and he is storking me. He as treated me and 2 of the neighbours in the passed 1 as moved out due the the hassle from this man with the cameras

Our Response:
As outlined in the article, 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. If your neighbour has fixed the camera to your property, then a polite letter asking your neigghbour to move the camera may work in the first instance. If your neighbour doesn't agree, then you may wish to report this to the police who will investigate.
YourPrivacy - 14-May-18 @ 10:33 AM
My neighbour has put up 5 cameras. 2 of them are on my property as we live in 2 story flats. I live upstairs and my flat is on the endfacing the car park. So he as put 2 cameras up on my flatwithout even asking me if this was ok.1 of my other neighbours as told me that he is watching everyonewho comes and goes.And he is watching me more.Because in the passed we have had a run in with each other. And he as told my neighbour he is out to get me.What is the law on this pleasebecause I thinghe as no right to putting them up and he is storkingme.He as treatedme and 2 of the neighbours in the passed 1 as moved outdue the the hassle from this manwith the cameras
Hullie - 12-May-18 @ 9:05 PM
Glow - Your Question:
My neighbors have been recording me and my family for 7 months now there has been no break ins no trouble whatsoever they are just doing it to harass and intimidate me and my family I don’t no what they are using it for I have a little girl who is ten and grandkids my daughter is scared, been to the police they told my to contact the housing who have told her to take it down which she hasn’t I’m disabled and can’t take anymore can you help me or give me some advice pls

Our Response:
If the housing association have asked your neighbour to remove the CCTV and your neighbour hasn't, then you have every right to contact your local authority or local police force and have them come out to investigate. They would obviously need to be satisfied that the installation was causing harassment before action can be taken.
YourPrivacy - 30-Apr-18 @ 2:20 PM
@Glow It is perfectly legal for neighbours to have CCTV today especially when neighbourhood disputes are so prevalent. If your neighbour has CCTV it will record 24/24 as that’s what it’s meant to do. Maybe your neighbour has a very good reason for needing to have it. It may be a good idea to educate your children if they are scared on the acceptance of CCTV as cameras today are in most public places. Also being disabled doesn’t provide people fromexemption of the law.
Gassygaskin - 29-Apr-18 @ 7:22 AM
My neighbors have been recording me and my family for 7 months now there has been no break ins no trouble whatsoever they are just doing it to harass and intimidate me and my family I don’t no what they are using it for I have a little girl who is ten and grandkids my daughter is scared, been to the police they told my to contact the housing who have told her to take it down which she hasn’t I’m disabled and can’t take anymore can you help me or give me some advice pls
Glow - 28-Apr-18 @ 11:26 AM
My neighbors have been watching my every move in my house. Started last year. I can't take it any more. They won't talk to me. The man lives there with his mom and girlfriend. The gf is not mature mentally. I am the only thing that keeps her busy. They are fine letting her do this so they don't have to keep her busy. No ethics/morals going way back with these neighbors. It wouldn't be quite as bad if she wasn't SO LOUD. Then I could ignore better. I am not tech savant and I live alone.I knew they could see in but until she moved in I didn't know the extent. She started screaming her showers are open. This was every time I took one. I have a frosted glass window with black out blinds. She watched everything from cooking, washing dishes, vacuuming, eating, anything with loud put downs. Booing, clapping etc. I heard him in the back yard with his buddies and my showers. I could go on and on. Last night we watched a few movies. I opened my sewing box on the table, in their view and she started yelling. Told him I did on purpose. I'm losing my mind. I hide in the back bedrooms. Stay in bed. I need help. I would love to catch them. Not sure what I need to prove it. Talked to police last year, laws are on there side. I went down there last year on the day she walked in my house and took a box of crackers. I was in my back yard and heard her tell the mom she was going too. I didn't think she really would and by the time I got in she was gone. I usually lock my front screen but walked to the back cause I was pulling weeds and cutting grass. She had to see I didn't lock.Told the guy Frankie Minor we needed to talk. He said he'd be over but mom said no all I would do is hold what she did over his head.Went to police but since I didn't report when it happened They couldn't do anything. Not even keep it on record.Last night after the movies I turned all lights off to go to bed. Went to grab a cookie and she said here we go with the cookies. I'm tired. Any help, suggestions?I don't have a lot of $ but would hire someone who could help me prove. TY
Frankie - 30-Mar-18 @ 9:13 PM
Police have installed CCTV on neighbours house and it points straight into my property. Are police allowed to do this?
Lea - 27-Mar-18 @ 10:26 PM
@aliactgo - I probably wouldn't mess with the police. If you ignore their wishes and your neighbours complain again you could find yourself in court.
jean - 12-Mar-18 @ 10:17 AM
I have harassing neighbours and have put up a CCTV camera. I have one camera on my front door and the other camera on my parked car which also captures half of tow other cars - the cars of my neighbours on each side of me. The Policecameround and told me the one on the door is OK.But he one not he cars need to move down as it contravenes privacy and human rights laws. I said I looked online and as I am displaying a sticker and will let either of the other neighbours consult the footage should they wish that surely I am allowed as this is reducing crime in view of the harrasemtn case. The policeman disagreed. I might add that my CCTV caught him sitting his phone on audio record which he then turned over on a clipboard before entering my home, soI am not to sure that the police man was being correct. As he did not inform me of his recording. Can i have CCTV on my other parked car in this situation or not?
aliactgo - 11-Mar-18 @ 11:43 AM
Question: I live on a terraced street (on road parking only), where the front gardens are approximately 4 feet deep to the pavement. A neighbour has set up CCTV/Video camera from his front bedroom window which, due to the angle must only be filming the street and none of his actual property. Is this allowed? TIA
Bowyer123 - 18-Feb-18 @ 3:52 PM
I live in a maisonette on the 2nd &3rd floor. I have been burgled previously and have set up a ring 2 video doorbell on my front door on the 2nd floor, on looking the communal hallway right outside my front door. The downstairs communal security door is also always being kicked in, or left open as well. I've reported, w/o any joy, to the NIHE. Last time it happened I got a crime reference number, about a week or 2 ago, and THAT GOT THE DOOR FIXED PROMPTLY. From now on, with burglarys, anti-social behavior and other crime, I want to feel safe where I live. I live in Northern Ireland, ???? UK ???? What does the law say in this situation?
CB007 - 8-Feb-18 @ 1:28 AM
Cristal - Your Question:
I have4ecently had issues with my neigh ours they have cctv on there house but have a car parked in between out houses with the dashcam facing my driveway I'm uncomfortable with this as I have 4 children under 7 and it's an invasion of my person space do you have any ideas as to what I can do if reported them as theyv also been verbally abusive

Our Response:
You can see more via the Ask the Police link here and here , which should help you answer your question.
YourPrivacy - 6-Feb-18 @ 2:05 PM
I have4ecently had issues with my neigh ours they have cctv on there house but have a car parked in between out houses with the dashcam facing my driveway I'm uncomfortable with this as I have 4 children under 7 and it's an invasion of my person space do you have any ideas as to what I can do if reported them as theyv also been verbally abusive
Cristal - 31-Jan-18 @ 6:56 PM
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