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CCTV in the workplace (the legalities).


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Old 18-08-2011, 19:20
Sally_Ann
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I need some advice regarding CCTV in the workplace, please.

I've been looking online for a couple of days now and there's a lot of information out there most of it confusing to me (I realise it's a complex subject). What I need are some simple answers to a few of questions, hopefully someone on here can help.

At my job there are CCTV cameras which were fitted (according to the MD) for security reasons. There are suspicions that they are being used to monitor people at work.

There are no signs up saying that cameras are there or that they are recording, though staff have been told they are there.

Do employees need to be made aware that they are being filmed for reasons other than security purposes, should there be signs displayed to this effect?

Can the cameras be used for monitoring employees behaviour, their performance at work, or to monitor that company procedure is followed?

Can the CCTV footage be used as evidence if an employee has not followed company procedure? For example, coming in and leaving work and using (or not using) the clocking system?

Also, can cameras be trained on individual members of staff, for example, a small office with two members of staff which has two cameras in it, each camera pointing directly at each member of staff?

Many thanks for taking the time to read.
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Old 18-08-2011, 19:32
carax
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http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/...ng_at_work.htm
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Old 18-08-2011, 19:58
chrisjr
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I had to look up the rules and regulations on CCTV at work some years ago. I found the information on the Information Commissioners website to be very useful.

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisati...ides/cctv.aspx

They have a code of practice on that page that advises organisations how to stay within the law. Might be worth a look.
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Old 19-08-2011, 17:07
BunnyMummy
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Hi hun,
As someone else has said that ICO guidance is the best for this as the ICO are the governing body for Data Protection.
In an essence CCTV captures personal data and therefore signs must be in place to inform people that the CCTV is in place and what the purpose is. If the company use personal data for a different reason than they have notified then it's a breach of the data protection act.
Using CCTV for monitoring staff is bordering on RIPA and therefore they could get into a LOT of trouble.
Also be aware that if you are captured you are entitled to request a copy of the footage.
Hope this helps.
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Old 19-08-2011, 18:46
Trajet
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Also be aware that if you are captured you are entitled to request a copy of the footage.
But you may be asked to pay for the copies to be made.
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Old 19-08-2011, 20:21
frost
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Oh dont call people you dont know "hun". It is stupid.
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Old 19-08-2011, 21:19
Roush
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Hi hun,
As someone else has said that ICO guidance is the best for this as the ICO are the governing body for Data Protection.
In an essence CCTV captures personal data and therefore signs must be in place to inform people that the CCTV is in place and what the purpose is. If the company use personal data for a different reason than they have notified then it's a breach of the data protection act.
Using CCTV for monitoring staff is bordering on RIPA and therefore they could get into a LOT of trouble.
Also be aware that if you are captured you are entitled to request a copy of the footage.
Hope this helps.
Totally wrong. As said in the first link posted employers have a right to monitor employees.

In my previous job as a restaurant manager I've used CCTV footage in disciplinary proceedings and we had to present CCTV footage to an ACAS tribunal on one occasion too. (We won the case on the strength of the CCTV evidence.)

As long as the employees have been informed that CCTV systems may be used for monitoring purposes there is nothing wrong with it at all. There were never any problems for us as our team member contracts stated that activities may be monitored via CCTV and other means.

Covert surveillance is a different matter entirely though, and employers will have to prove extraordinary grounds to justify covertly monitoring employees.
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Old 19-08-2011, 22:57
shantom
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Oh dont call people you dont know "hun". It is stupid.
Oh hun don't be so silly, do you not know you can't tell people what to do when you don't know them!
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Old 20-08-2011, 07:35
CitySlicker
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The short answer is CCTV is not illegal, the employer has to inform the employees, the employer does not have to signpost it unless there are members of the public regularly on site (i.e. a public office or shop).

The employer can do what they like with the CCTV footage so long as they are not distributing it. Most workplaces have it in place for one specific reason (usually security) but state if something else is uncovered as a result they reserve the right to use it to deal with that thing.
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Old 20-08-2011, 09:35
BunnyMummy
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Actually my advice isn't completely wrong. First of all yes they can charge, but only 10 under the data protection act... Ok hun?
The op said they they hadn't been formally made aware that the CCTV was being used for staff monitoring and that it was supposed to be being used for security.
If there is a clear sign saying that it's for staff monitoring then fine, but if not the company would need to be aware and using RIPA as it's the only real way to monitor staff without letting them know, plus to use RIPA they have to be suspicious that something very serious is happening, not just for example bad time keeping.
I work with these acts closely as work, so please read them before anyone tells me I'm totally wrong again!
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Old 20-08-2011, 10:33
CitySlicker
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RIPA doesn't apply, the OP says in their first post the employer has informed everyone CCTV is in operation. The best way I can align it to anything is calls being recorded in a call centre, RIPA doesn't come into that yet staff are aware even though there are no signs (I would expect it to be in the relevant employee handbook or contract though so staff have it in writing what is being recorded).
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Old 20-08-2011, 10:37
BunnyMummy
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Yes they are aware, but they need to be told why if it isn't purely for the prevention and detection of a crime (or security.. Whatever they were told the reason was).
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Old 20-08-2011, 10:41
CitySlicker
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Yes they are aware, but they need to be told why if it isn't purely for the prevention and detection of a crime (or security.. Whatever they were told the reason was).
All they would need to be told is the monitoring is taking place for business purposes.
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Old 20-08-2011, 11:26
BunnyMummy
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Yeah true, most companies probably would get away with using 'business purposes', but if I was advising one of our departments at work I would advise them to state the purpose as clearly as possible to comply with principle 1 of dpa (obtained fairly and lawfully)... If it's being collected for staff monitorring clearly tell staff that to make sure you are being absolutely fair.. After all it shouldnt be there to trick people.
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Old 20-08-2011, 11:39
CitySlicker
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I think 'business purposes' would suffice though, that would comply with the first principle of DPA.

I am unsure if the OP's suspicions are substantiated though or are out of paranoia?
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Old 20-08-2011, 11:45
BunnyMummy
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I was wondering if the cameras even exist, or if the company started the rumour as a deterrent? Surely they would be able to see cameras unless they were very fancy small ones?
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