Do you use CCTV cameras? Are people aware that you are recording their every move? You might be infringing their right to privacy! Whether or not a person is able to claim that an audio or visual recording is “private“, will depend on whether:
- the person subjectively (from their point of view) believes their recorded actions are private; and
- objectively (from an outsider’s point of view) speaking, society agrees.
Let us look at an example. You monitor your building with CCTV. Your security guard at the entrance cannot legitimately expect that sleeping (or anything else) at his desk is private. If he nevertheless (in his dreams) seriously believes it is private, society will not regard his expectation as reasonable. Therefore, you are entitled to monitor him, as his conduct is not private. However, he may legitimately expect that what he does in the cloakroom falls within the private sphere. Society may well agree. Nevertheless, you may still infringe his right to privacy if you have sound business reasons and there are no legitimate ways for you to record his actions.
Wording for a notice
If you use CCTV cameras, you must ensure that every person (employees and visitors) whose actions you record agree to the following:
In order to:
- protect your personal safety when on our premises; and
- investigate, detect or prevent crime and to apprehend or prosecute offenders,
we reserve the right to:
- inspect your person or property when entering our premises;
- refuse you entry in our discretion; and
- monitor and record activities that are in plain view on our premises using closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
By entering our property, you acknowledge that you are aware that we may monitor your activities and consent to us disclosing CCTV footage to authorised persons.
You can put it in the visitors’ register or put up a sign.
Recordings are records
By the way, all audio or visual recordings that you produce using CCTV cameras are records. You must retain these records in accordance with your record retention schedules or policies. If you want to make sure that all your monitoring activities (including the monitoring of electronic communications like email and phone calls) are in accordance with the law, please contact us.