CCTV cameras and the Privacy Act
CCTV Privacy Issues You Need to Be Aware Of
Are you thinking about installing CCTV cameras at work? Do you know what your responsibilities are around CCTV privacy issues? The Privacy Act has clear guidelines as to what business can and can’t do regarding
workplace CCTV cameras. You can view the full Privacy and CCTV guidelines on the Privacy Commissioner’s website, but let us summarise the main points for you.
CCTV Privacy Issues Before Installing Any Cameras
Before you install commercial CCTV cameras, there are three key documents you need to develop:
1. Identify the exact reasons as to why your business needs to install security cameras. Then decide what type of system you will need to meet these needs.
2. Create a business plan which details your CCTV strategy.
3. Develop a CCTV policy which states how the system will operate and the rules which need to be followed by staff when using the system.
Once you have these three documents developed, you can be certain that your business will be operating its CCTV system legally. This lets you reassure staff and customers that their data will be safe, secure and only collected when necessary. Let’s break each of these three documents down further.
Is CCTV Right for Your Business?
The first document you’ll create is will need to:
· Identify your purpose for needing to install CCTV cameras
· Consider if installing a CCTV system will meet these needs by identifying the problem you need it for, if the system could solve that problem and if there are any additional options you could try instead.
· Decide if you need to consult with people who will be affected by the camera installation.
What’s Your Business CCTV Plan?
Your second document is created once you have made the decision to install CCTV into your workplace. This plan needs to state:
· Your system’s purpose
· Outcomes you expect
· How it will operate
· Technology and equipment to be used
· How privacy impacts will be minimised
Writing a CCTV Policy
The third document describes how CCTV cameras will operate within your workplace:
· The equipment used
· How people will be made aware CCTV cameras are in operation and what happens to their information, including notices on your website and printed media
· The collection of only necessary images
· Hours of operation of CCTV cameras limited to only when necessary
· Use of collected information
· Non-disclosure of information collected, unless through approved exceptions in the Privacy Act
· Storage and retention of collected images
· Access to images
· Auditing and evaluating your system
While it can seem a lot of work to have these documents in place, the benefits of installing business CCTV cameras far outweigh the short-term inconvenience. Also by having all your I’s dotted and t’s crossed, you won’t need to be concerned about any CCTV privacy issues.
As always, we’re happy to discuss any concerns or answer questions you have about a commercial CCTV system. Give us a call on 0800 425 576 or send us a message through our website contact form today.