2022 Update: GDPR and CCTV cameras in vehicles – are you still compliant with data protection laws?
Vehicle CCTV cameras are very useful for capturing evidence if an incident occurs but are considered highly invasive of people’s privacy. How can you ensure your use of CCTV cameras in fleet vehicles is compliant with data protection and human rights laws? Recent changes in the Commissioner organisation and the Code of Practice are now in force.
The difference with static CCTV cameras
Many ‘static’ CCTV systems put on buildings can have their settings controlled so they only cover specific areas of their view. With vehicle cameras (both internal and external) there’s little or no control on what they record.
An ICO blog about vehicle CCTV systems in taxis highlighted that these camera are often running when the car is in use, whether that’s on taxi business or not. If the taxi driver is running a family errand, the camera is still recording and the ICO states that’s an invasion of privacy.
The same goes for rear-view vehicle cameras, in-cabin cameras and dashboard cameras (dashcams) used for business purposes.
What's changed about the ICO's guidance?
The updated guidance from the ICO is partly in response to the rapid development of technology and AI - which makes analysis and use of video footage even more intrusive of people's privacy than before.
The ICO has recently revised its guidance to make clear than any workplace monitoring with CCTV can only be done once a Data Protection Impact Assessment is in place you can read that part of the new guidance here.
The surveillance camera code of practice
The Government’s Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner who regulates the use of CCTV has recently revised its code of practice for the use of surveillance cameras by organisations.
The twelve principles require that organisations:
Be clear about the purpose of having these systems and review this purpose and need regularly
Consider the privacy impact on individuals - usually this means completing a Privacy Impact Assessment so you have a record of your thinking
Put up clear signage (even on vehicles) to warn people that CCTV is in operation and publish a point of contact about it on your website privacy notice
Be clear on who is responsible for all camera footage and data, ensure that access to the data is carefully controlled and that all staff understand their responsibilities
Have clear policies and procedures in place for video footage management and train staff on them
Only keep essential images for as long as necessary, and fully erase records that aren’t needed
Restrict access to the footage, keep the images secure and be clear about how video information is disclosed
Where possible, follow recognised technical or operational standards
Ensure that the images captured are done so securely and only authorised personnel have access
Regularly review the need for video evidence and whether there are better alternatives
Capture evidence in a manner that enables the criminal justice system to use it and have a clear policy on data storage, security and deletion
Where using specialist technology, like Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) or facial recognition, be clear about the basis for using such information and make sure that the databases used are up to date
As you can see from this list, there’s a lot to cover if you’re going to use CCTV or on-board vehicle cameras appropriately. Whilst these systems can have great value when used appropriately, the key is ensuring your organisation has the right controls in place when you decide to use video recording systems.
Find out more
The Biometric and Surveillance Camera Commissioner has produced a range of tools and guidance including a toolkit for small and medium businesses considering the use of CCTV and a self assessment tool to find out whether your CCTV usage is compliant with the surveillance camera code of practice. You can download the guidance here.
For tools and guidance to complete a privacy impact assessment and ensure your organisation is compliant with GDPR and other data protection laws, subscribe to Astrid today.
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