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Can I Use CCTV to Record Meetings in my Home?

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 12 Aug 2023 | comments*Discuss
Can I Use Cctv To Record Meetings In My Home?


I have a friend who has CCTV installed inside his house to monitor meetings with social services as he has short term memory problems and this way he can record the meeting and make sure he does not miss anything that is said to him.

Social Services are now stating he must turn his camera off when they arrive, but when he did do this the Social worker then lied about the discussion that took place (she did not know he had done an audio recording) and tried to state my friend was unfit to care for his children - he was able to prove otherwise with the audio recording.

My friend wants to know does he have to turn the CCTV off when the social worker comes into his house?

Social Services have stated unless he turns it off when they arrive they will view this as non complicance and take his children into care regardless.

(Mrs Linda Hinchliffe, 17 September 2008)


CCTV for Domestic Use

According to the Data Protection Act 1998 there is no reason why CCTV cannot be used to record meetings in a person’s home. There is a common thinking that domestic use of CCTV does not come under the remit of the Data Protection Act but this is not necessarily the case. This is not true as nearly all recording of personal data including recording images and conversations in the home falls within the remit of the Data Protection Act. However, there are certain exemptions that may apply with this case. According to the Data Protection Act, section 36, there is an exemption. This section states that if the recording is made inside the data controller’s (person making the recording) own home then the person making the recording is entitled to do so. The person making the recording also does not need to inform those that he or she is recording the meeting or the fact that they are actually being recorded. The person making the recording also does not have to give a copy to those recorded if they were to request a copy.

Justifying the use of Domestic CCTV

Exemptions can always be overruled in certain cases but a big factor in this case would be justification for the use of CCTV. If the data controller can justify why the recording is needed then this should be taken into account by any regulatory body. As to the manner in which the social services officer has acted there may be certain reasons why recording is not permitted with regards to information on other people involved, for example, children. However, the social services department should be able to provide documented official government information on why CCTV is not permitted on the data recorder’s premises during the meetings. It would be in the best interests of the data recorder to contact the senior social worker in this case or a higher lever employee at the social services department to discuss the matter. Another official agency that will be able to give more advice on the matter will be the Citizens Advice Bureau. More information on the Data Protection Act and CCTV recordings can be found on the official government Data Protection Act website.

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