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Personal CCTV and smart doorbells

Information on personal CCTV and smart doorbells

Personal CCTV and smart doorbells

Legally, can I install personal CCTV/smart doorbells to capture video or sound recordings?

Yes, but it must only be recording your property. By limiting the coverage of the CCTV/smart doorbells to your property’s boundaries, including your garden, data protection laws don’t apply.

You should try to point your CCTV/smart doorbell away from your neighbours’ homes, gardens, shared spaces, or public streets.

If you’re capturing images outside the boundary of your property, UK GDPR and data protection law require you to follow certain rules.

Do I need your permission before I install CCTV?

Yes, you must tell us of any alterations to the interior or exterior of your property. To do this, you can complete the permission to alter external elements of your home form – Please select Satellite Dish/Aerial/CCTV/Security Lighting/Security Alarms. You should follow steps one to three to help you complete the form. ​

Do I need to remove this if I move out?

Yes, any CCTV/smart doorbell equipment must be removed before you leave your home.

What do I need to consider first?

Step 1

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) says that if you capture images or audio recordings from outside your property boundary, you need to think about several factors when deciding whether to install CCTV/smart doorbells.

These include:

  • Do I really need CCTV/smart doorbell?
  • Are there other things I could use to protect my home, such as better lighting?
  • What’s the most privacy-friendly way to set up the system?
  • What areas do I want the cameras to capture?
  • Can I position the cameras to avoid intruding on my neighbours’ property or any shared or public spaces?
  • Do I need to record the images, or is a live feed enough?
  • Has my CCTV/smart doorbell system got an audio-recording facility?
  • Can I automatically delete footage? If not, how regularly will I manually delete footage?

Step 2

The ICO also suggests that you speak to your neighbours before installing your system to listen to any objections and, post-installation, in most cases providing or deleting some of the recording if asked by a neighbour or person whose images have been captured.

Step 3

Consider if you can stop recording a person if they object to being recorded, but only if it’s possible to do so. For example, can you point the camera in a different direction, but still use it for the same purposes, such as keeping your property safe?

Visit for further guidance.

  What if I need to capture video surveillance of another person involved in anti-social behaviour? 

It’s possible to do this, but please speak to your ASB Advisor or Housing Officer first.


You should consider ways to minimise the intrusion by not recording all the time, not capturing audio, or adjusting the range of the camera so it captures a smaller area.

It’s important to remember that other people don’t waive their privacy rights because they’re walking down a public path or having a conversation in a communal area.

You must remember that whilst the appropriate use of CCTV/smart doorbell may be justifiable, using the captured data to put on social media is unlikely to be acceptable if it includes images of other people.

What should I do if I’m unhappy that a personal camera is capturing my data?

You should calmly approach the person whose camera it is to request it’s adjusted to not capture your property or personal data.

You can ask us to step in if you’re not able to do this yourself.

Active early management of disputes involving CCTV/smart doorbells includes considering mediation and other informal resolution mechanisms to avoid more formal mechanisms for escalating a dispute.

Updated: 18 June 2024

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