Warning over smart doorbells as Britons could be ‘breaking’ laws – avoid £100,000 fine

Statistics show that nearly half of Britons have some type of surveillance system in place, from start doorbells to CCTV at the front and rear of the home.

While these methods can bring peace of mind to homeowners, not following legal protocols can lead to fines of up to £100,000, according to experts.

Having a security system in place is far from illegal, but recording anything outside of your property means you become beholden to the relevant laws around data protection.

If these are not abided by, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is entitled to take action against you., a reliable way to find tradespeople, spoke to to encourage Britons to do their research into whether or not their systems are compliant., a reliable way to find tradespeople, spoke to to encourage Britons to do their research into whether or not their systems are compliant.

Andy Simms, a property expert from, said: “If you have installed, or are considering installing CCTV or smart cameras, there are certain guidelines you need to follow to ensure you are not breaking any rules or laws.

“It’s becoming increasingly popular to have home surveillance systems, and there are many obvious benefits to safety by installing one.

“While it’s not illegal to have CCTV and recording systems on your property, filming people secretly often is. It’s imperative that you follow the guidance and position correct signage about your systems to avoid breaking the law.” has also put together a short guide to help Britons understand the legalities surrounding home surveillance systems.

1. Follow GDPR rules

If your system captures people outside the boundary of your private property, such as a neighbour’s home or garden, then the Data Protection Act (DPA) and GDPR will apply.

The expert explained: “If you do not comply with DPA/GDPR you may be subject to action and fines by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) or face potential legal actions from any affected individuals. The points below guide you on how to follow the correct protocol to ensure you are abiding by the rules.”

2. Put up signage

It is illegal to secretly film people, even on private property so households must put up signage in key positions to ensure people who enter the property are aware.

This also helps to deter criminals. The pro noted: “It is a lawful requirement to place signage in clear and appropriate locations.

“If you have cameras inside your property, signage is essential so visitors are aware recording is taking place.”

3. Operate responsibly

If homeowners are going to install CCTV at their homes, they need to ensure they are acting responsibly to protect the privacy of others.

If not, the ICO may receive complaints from neighbours or even members of the public who are concerned.

4. Let people know

Once the CCTV or smart camera has been installed, it is important to notify neighbours or anyone else who may be within the boundary.

The expert also said homeowners need to put up notices or signs to inform people that a recording is taking place if outside the boundary.

5. Storing the recorded information

The expert continued: “There are various considerations to take into account when storing any recordings made. Ensure the time and date are accurate in case you need to refer back to any footage and allow enough space for any footage for storage.

“Once footage has been obtained you should not store it for any longer than needed and delete it once it is no longer needed. The recorded information must also be kept securely and only be used for the correct purposes including not sharing with anyone.

“Any footage may be required to be viewed by the police in the case of any incidents, and if so it is vital you keep that footage in secure storage.”


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