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Information Commissioner – CCTV code of practice

CCTV code of practice

CCTV surveillance has become a common feature of our daily lives. We are caught on numerous
CCTV cameras as we move around our towns and cities, visit shops and offices, and travel on
the road and other parts of the public transport network. Whilst the use of CCTV continues to
enjoy general public support, it necessarily involves intrusion into the lives of ordinary individuals
as they go about their day to day business. Our research has shown that the public expect it to
be used responsibly with effective safeguards in place. Maintaining public trust and confidence in
its use is essential if its benefits are to be realised and its use is not to become increasingly
viewed with suspicion as part of a surveillance society.

This code of practice replaces one first issued in 2000. Since then there have been advances in
the way CCTV is used, the technology employed and the wider legal environment in which it
operates. There have also been developments which may help achieve more privacy friendly
ways of using CCTV. This revised code builds upon the previous guidance reflecting these
changes and the lessons learnt of how it is used in practice. During the production of the code
discussions have taken place with organisations that use CCTV and a public consultation
exercise undertaken which generated many valuable comments.

This code of practice replaces one first issued in 2000. Since then there have been advances in
the way CCTV is used, the technology employed and the wider legal environment in which it
operates. There have also been developments which may help achieve more privacy friendly
ways of using CCTV. This revised code builds upon the previous guidance reflecting these
changes and the lessons learnt of how it is used in practice. During the production of the code
discussions have taken place with organisations that use CCTV and a public consultation
exercise undertaken which generated many valuable comments.
However, the objective of this code remains the same: helping ensure that good practice
standards are adopted by those who operate CCTV. If they follow its provisions this not only
helps them remain within the law but fosters public confidence by demonstrating that they take
their responsibilities seriously.

Richard Thomas
Information Commissioner