Can My Neighbour Record Me On CCTV?

sarah ryan
Sarah RyanAccount Manager @ Lawhive & Non-Practising Solicitor
Updated on 25th October 2023

Imagine this: One day you wake up to find your neighbour has installed a camera on their that points directly at your home.

What are your rights in this situation? And what, if anything, can you do about it?

Can my neighbour record me on their CCTV camera?

If your neighbour puts a camera on their property, they should try to make sure it does not point into other people’s homes and gardens. However, this is not always possible and using cameras, like CCTV, to capture videos outside a property boundary is not against the law. So, in short, yes - a neighbour can record you on their CCTV camera.

This is probably of little comfort if you find yourself in a position where it feels like Big Brother is watching you all the time. That being said, there are some things you can do to change the situation and there are potential legal avenues you can explore if you feel your neighbours motives for installing cameras on their property have nothing to do with protecting their property from acts of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Domestic CCTV, GDPR and the DPA

If a neighbour’s CCTV system captures images of your home or garden, then they have to comply with certain data protection laws including:

If your neighbour doesn’t follow data protection laws and fulfil their obligations as a ‘data controller’ they may be subject to appropriate regulatory action by the ICO. You may also be able to take legal action if you are affected by their failure to comply with the law.

Neighbour recording you: What are your rights?

Under the above regulations, you have certain rights. These include the rights to:

  • Be informed that a CCTV system is being used

  • Request a copy of any recordings of you by a CCTV camera

  • Request for footage of you to be deleted

  • Request that you are not captured on CCTV again

You are perfectly within your rights to ask your neighbour to delete any footage of you captured by your CCTV and that they do not record you again.

However, your neighbour can refuse these requests if they have legitimate reasons (i,e. Footage of you also captures footage of anti-social behaviour or they need to capture CCTV in a certain area and it’s impossible to do so without recording you).

Domestic CCTV and your neighbours obligations

If your neighbour is recording footage that falls outside of their property boundaries and the CCTV isn’t maintained and controlled by a third party like a security company, then they assume the role of data controller and have certain obligations to fulfil.

They must:

  • Process data fairly and lawfully in a transparent manner

  • Collect data only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes (in this situation it would be to deter or capture crimes being committed or anti-social behaviour)

  • Ensure the data processed is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed

  • Only store data for an appropriate time.

The difficulty for neighbours in challenging the placement of domestic CCTV is being able to prove that the recordings capture more than necessary for the purpose given by the data controller.

If cases like this are brought in front of a judge, it is up to the courts to weigh up the right to privacy vs the right to protect property based on the facts.

Is my neighbour recording me classed as harassment?

Generally, using CCTV to record you would not be seen as harassment by your neighbour unless they have committed other misconduct which could constitute harassment.

While the thought of you neighbour recording you might be distressing, it’s important to understand that it is not illegal and therefore would not be a police matter unless your neighbour has broken the law in other ways.

What to do if your neighbour is recording you

If your neighbour has installed CCTV cameras that record your property, the best course of action at first is to talk to them in a calm and respectful manner.

You should ask them why they are recording, what they are recording, and explain your concerns about being recorded. Having a deeper understanding of your neighbours motives might put any fears you have at rest, or your neighbour might explain that the cameras don’t record as much of you and your property as you originally thought.

If this doesn’t work and you find yourself in a dispute with your neighbour you could also consider:

At Lawhive, our expert neighbour disputes solicitors and lawyers are on hand to help with a wide range of neighbour, property and land disputes including boundary disputes, noise complaints, privacy issues, and anti-social behaviour. If you need help with a neighbour dispute, you can easily get help from our specialist neighbour dispute solicitor by telling us about your situation through our online enquiry form.

We will give you an instant fixed-fee quote and match you with an experienced online neighbour dispute solicitor who will handle your case.

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