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CCTV Regulations for Commercial Buildings in the UK

May 30th, 2024

Last updated: May 30th, 2024

CCTV has become an integral part of security measures for commercial buildings. But deploying CCTV is not just about setting up cameras; it involves navigating a few regulations to ensure compliance with legal standards, especially in a commercial property.

Here’s what commercial property owners and managers need to consider regarding CCTV regulations in the UK and what they can do to make sure they have met their obligations.

Data Protection Rules

The main legislation governing the use of CCTV in the UK is the Data Protection Act 2018, which incorporates the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This law mandates how personal data (which includes images and videos from CCTV) should be handled. Additionally, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 outlines specific requirements and the protection of peoples’ liberties.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) oversees the enforcement of these regulations. The ICO’s Code of Practice provides detailed guidance on how businesses should use CCTV systems responsibly.

Key Considerations for CCTV Installation

Before installing CCTV, businesses must clearly define the purpose of the surveillance. It’s crucial to justify why CCTV is necessary, such as for crime prevention, employee safety, or protecting property. This justification helps ensure that the use of CCTV is proportionate and necessary, aligning with GDPR principles.

A Data Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA) should be conducted to evaluate the impact of CCTV on individuals’ privacy. This involves assessing the risks to privacy, considering alternatives, and implementing measures to mitigate any adverse effects. The PIA helps ensure that the surveillance is proportionate to the intended purpose.

Signage Regulations

Businesses are legally required to inform people that they are being recorded. Clear signage indicating the presence of CCTV cameras must be prominently displayed. The signs should state the purpose of the surveillance, who is operating the system, and provide contact details for further information. This transparency is a key aspect of GDPR compliance.

The ICO are responsible for overseeing this, and they explain in their own terms, too:

“The signs should make it clear that CCTV is in operation, and should be displayed where they can be seen, such as your office or shop window. The signs could also help to improve your security by acting as a deterrent. Your signs should explain why you’re using CCTV, and who to contact to raise any queries.”

How Long to Hold CCTV Footage

Individuals have the right to access their personal data, which includes CCTV footage, for up to 31 days after it is taken. They can request to see footage of themselves and ask for copies. Businesses must have procedures in place to handle such requests promptly and securely. Additionally, individuals have the right to request the deletion of their data under certain circumstances.

People may provide the following details in a letter requesting their footage.

  • A specific date and time
  • Proof of identity
  • A description of themselves and what they were wearing

The CCTV owner usually has to provide the footage free of charge within a calendar month, so potentially up to 31 days.

CCTV footage must be stored securely to prevent unauthorised access. This involves using encrypted storage systems, restricting access to authorised personnel, and implementing robust cybersecurity measures. This is all to protect peoples’ personal liberties and GDPR rights.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failing to comply with CCTV regulations can result in significant penalties, including hefty fines from the ICO. CCTV has been used in some unlawful ways before, including to enforce parking fines.

Additionally, non-compliance can damage a business’s reputation and erode public trust. Therefore, it’s crucial for businesses to take their legal obligations seriously and ensure that their CCTV systems are fully compliant.


Deploying CCTV in commercial buildings in the UK involves more than just setting up cameras. Businesses must navigate a complex legal framework to ensure compliance with data protection laws.

CCTV can be used alongside things like alarm systems and parking barriers as a security measure and to deter crime in your commercial premises.

Our experienced team provides CCTV system repairs and maintenance across Yorkshire to keep your premises secure. Our trained specialists follow SSAIB guidelines and industry standards, so you can rest assured your business complies with UK regulations.

Get in touch to book regular servicing or urgent repairs of your CCTV system in Yorkshire.

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