The UK is recognised as a leading user of CCTV and the public are used to seeing CCTV cameras on virtually every high street. Such systems continue to enjoy general public support but they do involve intrusion into the lives of ordinary people as they go about their day to day business and can raise wider privacy concerns.

We know from our research that the public expect CCTV to be used responsibly with proper safeguards in place. We have therefore issued guidance to help organisations who use CCTV to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and to help them inspire public confidence that they are using CCTV responsibly.

Images of people are covered by the Data Protection Act, and so is information about people which is derived from images – for example, vehicle registration numbers. Most uses of CCTV by organisations or businesses will be covered by the Act, regardless of the number of cameras or how sophisticated the equipment is.

The CCTV code of practice provides guidance and advice for CCTV users on how to comply with the Data Protection Act and also includes a simple checklist for users of very limited CCTV systems where the full provisions of the code would be too detailed.

CCTV in pubs

The ICO has received a number of enquiries from pub landlords on the issue of CCTV installation being made a condition for obtaining, or continuing, a licence to sell alcohol.