Fines for failing to register the processing of personal information from using CCTV - iC2
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Fines for failing to register the processing of personal information from using CCTV

Crime prevention and processing personal information

There is chance that many organisations and businesses are operating CCTV systems illegally, as a result of failing to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The legal requirement is not actually for the registration of the system, but to declare that the organisation or firm is processing personal information. This requirement has been in place since 24 October 2001.

There are cases for exemption, however a couple of overarching definitions suggest that in the main, the vast majority of CCTV installed in organisations and businesses where the public have access are in scope of the requirement to register:

  • The Data Protection Act 1998 requires every data controller (eg organisation, sole trader) who is processing personal information to register with the ICO, unless they are exempt.
  • If you use CCTV on your business premises for the purpose of crime prevention, you need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Likely that many businesses in scope are not registered

99 percent of the UK’s organisations and businesses are SMEs (for this purpose defined as firms of 1 – 250 employees), and there are approximately 5.4 million of them. However, the ICO’s database includes some 465,000 registered organisations and businesses, just 8.6 percent.

While many of the 5.4 million SMEs are unlikely to be in scope because they simply do not utilise CCTV, it is likely that there are many that are in breach of the regulation.

Failing to register may have significant consequences:

  • You may be liable to a fine
  • Evidence obtained by your system may be rejected by the Courts
  • You may be required to stop processing data i.e. stop using your CCTV System

How to register you are processing personal information from CCTV

Registration is simple and there is lots of information on the ICO’s website, including advice, self-assessment and an FAQ to simplify some of the complexities. (Follow the link below).

The registration fee is £35.00 per organisation. It should be noted that multi-site businesses that operate each site as individual business units and legal entities need to register each one individually.

Get help and advice on CCTV compliance from iC2

iC2 works with all its clients to ensure that all systems are operated in compliance with applicable regulatory codes and guidelines.

We offer free Risk Assessments to qualified prospective clients and consult to ensure you have the security systems that are fit for your purpose. Most importantly, we’ll help make sure that your data controllers understand their obligations to ensure data is handled correctly and is not misused.

To find out more about how we can help you to operate CCTV in a way that protects privacy, simply get in touch today.

To find out more or register, please click here to go the ICO website.

Click here to download our free paper ‘Q&A guide: CCTV code of practice and Data Protection Act compliance’.

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