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Does Neighbour's Camera Contravene Privacy Rights?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 24 Dec 2023 | 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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My neighbour opposite has got a camera right across the road into my house I have four other neighbours who block my car in I have seen her sharing phone with them I belive she's filming me in my garden at the front of the house what can I do police say its not there problem what about my human rights her son has threatened me the police know this
Cassy - 24-Dec-23 @ 6:45 PM
My neighbours have installed a motion activated light with a camera that comes on when I walk down my garden.So if the light is on could they also be filming me?
winny21 - 6-Aug-23 @ 3:40 PM
I've read about people moaning about theses 360 cameras ,I have one and it's because I have a drug dealer one side of me and the old couple the other side buy off them. I have found with the experienceI'm having with certain people is that the ones moaning g about cameras are the ones getting up to no good and don't t want to be on camera!
Kimi - 5-Jul-23 @ 4:29 PM
My neighbour has cameras facing front and back of their property. The front one records the street (no front garden) and the rear one films a right of way path that me and the neighbours otherside of them use. This path is a public highway owned by no one. We have strong second hand evidence that they actively watch these cameras like a second television aswell as record them. When first hand evidence of their activities comes to light I want to get them removed or turned so we can use the path without being watched. Where do I stand legally or should I just take them down myself and suffer the consequences.
Taz - 6-May-23 @ 7:34 PM
I have been into my garden today and seen my next door neighbour has installed a door bell camera at the back of there house and its higher than our deviding fence hight so can see and hear everything in my back garden is this legal? Any advice would be appreciated
Matth - 21-Mar-23 @ 12:08 PM
I have a neighbour who has just beenfound guilty in court of a Public Order Offence against me. There is also a restraining order in place. This neighbour & their family & friends are now recording me everytime they see me leaving my home or out in public. The police have been contacted on multiple occasions about this but all they sat is they're not breaking their restraining order or the law by doing this. It is causing myself & my family a lot of distress. We feel intimidated, harassed & paranoid every time we are in our front garden or we leave our home. Please tell me if there is anything that can be done to stop this. Many thanks.
Blackrose - 6-May-22 @ 10:20 PM
So my neibour is a racist and her and her boyfriendhave had cameras put up over my back garden watching my gardenwherr my kids go in the pool its making my kids not allowedas i dont know if there perverts
Keekz - 28-Jul-21 @ 11:03 PM
This article is so wrong, domestic CCTV is fine as long as it only captures goings on within the boundary of the home owners property. If public spaces and other folks property is over looked then The GDPR and The DPA 2018 kick in. The GDPR comes with a reverse burden of proof so the CCTV operator would be the one with questions to answer see art.5(2) art.24.(1) and art.82.(3) for example. I would go to the CCTV operator refer them to art.6 and let them explain what their lawful bases is for recording you or anyone else beyond their property boundary.
GDPR Guy - 18-Jul-21 @ 8:45 PM
My neighbour has a ring doorbell that constantly clicks when I go out into my yard and a wired camera that actually covers most of my yard and my back door. I have asked her to reposition the cameras but she keeps making excuses. It's just myself and my daughter living in my property which I own and she is only renting. The letting agent she is renting from have told me they can't do anything about the cameras. I don't like that she is filming myself and my every movement but sickened that she is doing it to my young daughter for no reason other than to spy. What else can I do to get this sorted as I have tried to be reasonable and not got anywhere?
Mimi - 22-Jun-21 @ 8:57 PM
My neighbour has just installed a ring doorbell between his front door and mine about 5 inches away from my front door is there anything I can do about it I had to stop using my garden last summer because of his crude comments.Now I feel very uncomfortable because the door bell flashes everytime someone comes to my door or leaves my home I feel like he is watching.
Jade - 10-Mar-21 @ 7:44 AM
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
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