Spy cameras in communal areas

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  • NaomiB
    replied
    I remember seeing my first CCTV camera as I was going up an escalator in Boots. It must have been in the late sixties. It looked like a space craft. I felt slightly uneasy for a few seconds. Since then I can't remember ever noticing them at all. I know that cameras can see me when I am out and, of course, anyone can see me but it seemed different to me to be observed when I thought I was alone.

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  • nukecad
    replied
    It's best to assume that once outside your own front door you may be on someones security camera or doorbell/entry system.

    It's probably going to be the case.

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  • NaomiB
    replied
    I have only mentioned it twice. It's relevance is that it has brought things to light that I didn't know about. I wanted to know what other people thought about it. I've told you what I have decided to do. Once it's out in the open we will all know where we are.

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  • landlord-man
    replied
    We know about the court case as you've mentioned it several times - unless you plan to sue this tenant then it has zero relevance.

    You know the camera is there and you claim not to have an issue with it - it doesn't really matter if its been there 2 or 10 years now.

    The more you post, it comes across that its YOU who has the issue with this neighbour.

    So, either inform the other neighbours of the cctv camera and if they wish you can all address the issue together, ask the neighbour to remove it yourself OR just get on with you life.

    I really don't know what it is you want from this forum.

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  • Gordon999
    replied
    Its best to post a warning sign outside the entrances to say "CCTV in operation" .

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  • NaomiB
    replied
    You are misinterpreting what the situation is. I've always got on well with her and we've been perfectly friendly. A couple of years ago someone was complaining that they always put the bins away. We talked about it and she said she would get a rota. I said what happens if they don't do it and she replied well I'll go and make them do it. This seemed over the top for something that only takes two or three minutes so I said I'd do it and I did.

    Having thought about it, if we are all informed of the cameras, I don't mind. If there is a notice up about it, I don't mind. What I didn't think was right was the residents being filmed when they didn't know the cameras were there.

    This has only arisen because of the case this week where someone was fined a huge amount for having cameras looking outside his property and harassing his neighbour. Talking to another neighbour I found out that she's got one of these Ring door bells. Her daughter put it in for security.

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  • landlord-man
    replied
    ah so you just have a neighbour dispute - why didn't you say so.

    there was CCTV that you weren't aware of - but you now are aware and don't have an issue.

    you don't get along with this neighbour - so ignore her or invite her for a cup of tea.

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  • NaomiB
    replied
    It has been there for two years and I was unaware of it. I don't object to it being on all the time or motion activated as long as I know it is there. I didn't know.

    You don't know this tenant! A couple of weeks ago I was carrying some things upstairs and I dropped an ornament which smashed onto the floor into lots of small pieces. I bent down and picked up every little piece that I could see. If I had left some then it wouldn't have surprised me if she had turned up on my doorstep telling me off. She is what I might call blunt. And in the past couple of weeks she's complained of builders making a noise and sent out a WhatsApp message late in the evening about a loud TV.

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  • landlord-man
    replied
    We're going off topic a little but re-read what you said lol

    You have no objection to CCTV to catch a burglar in the flats.

    But you object to it being on all the time or motion activated.

    Erm, how do you suggest it's going to catch that burglar in action?


    Back on topics again - I guess you've highlighted your own options so hope it gets sorted for you.

    Though going back to the start post - you mentioned it's a female tenant who's installed the camera, in which case I'd be even less concerned about it (probably get shot for such a comment these days)

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  • NaomiB
    replied
    I have no objection to CCTV and I'm sure it could be invaluable if someone in the flats got burgled. When it's on all the time, or movement activated, and it can possibly be used to spy on other residents, then I think it's fair to call it a spy camera. Amazon has got a whole range of what it calls 'spy cameras'.

    The Cambridge dictionary definition of CCTV is "a system that sends television signals to a limited number of screens, and it is often used in shops and public places to prevent crime".

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  • landlord-man
    replied
    Perhaps get used to the term CCTV for Safety & Security rather than Spy Cameras lol

    It works for the Police and Council.



    And as said previously, IF these images are being recorded in any way then there needs to be a registered Data Controller with the ICO (and an annual fee paid).

    Warning Notices do need to be displayed and carry the contact details for the Data Controller too - any court case relying on the images could fall flat if this is not done.

    There also needs to be a log of who has been given access to the data - if the Police wish to view it, the Data Controller can demand a written request from a SENIOR Police Officer first.


    If I was in your position, a short note popped into each letterbox would be sufficient.

    HOWEVER, if you think the owner of these cameras is (shall we just say) "suspect" then I would be more concerned about it. And don't shake his hand (sorry lol)


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  • NaomiB
    replied
    Well I have been thinking about that! I will email the committee and say that I hadn't realised that these spy cameras have been in place for some time. What I would like them to do is either bring it up at the next residents meeting

    Or find out how many of these spy cameras there are in the communal areas, advise the other residents where they are and they can be left.

    Or put up a notice by the front door saying that CCTV cameras are in operation in the area

    Or, ask the managing agent for advice

    They will probably say they are there to protect their properties from intruders etc. I will say that that's all very well but they were filming us when we thought we were alone.

    I'm not at all a very private sort of person but don't like the idea that I could have been spied upon.

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  • landlord-man
    replied
    So, what have you decided to do?

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  • NaomiB
    replied
    I don't really think it is like a shopping centre because, there, you know anyone can see you. If I walked downstairs and no-one was around I did feel that I was alone. This week I stood and talked to someone by the front door and I thought we could not be overheard but I was wrong. Now I am wondering what we talked about. I won't do that again.

    Mind you, they do say that listeners hear no good about themselves!

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  • nukecad
    replied
    Can you film someone in a public place?

    This is aimed at amatuer film makers, but covers all filming in public places:
    https://www.theiac.org.uk/resourcesn...in-public.html

    A communal area is a privately owned public place, much as a shopping center, sports stadium, or museum, is a privately owned public place. So unless the owner of the communal area puts a restriction on filming/recording of that communal area it's quite legal to film it, and to make a recording.
    Whether it's done covertly or openly doesn't matter, it's legal to do.

    If the lease says nothing about it, which I doubt it will then it's not prohibited.
    (A ban on putting items in the comunal area because they may cause an obstruction probably wouldn't cover a wall/ceiling mounted camera. eg. a video doorbell. The lease may say something about tenants not putting 'fixtures' in the communal area, but possibly not).

    As said above if someone has put a camera up then you can simply tell everyone about it, anonymously if you like.

    Or you can complain to the owner of the communal area and ask them to put a ban in place.
    But if they do put a ban in place and someone breaks that ban then it's a civil matter and not a criminal one.

    And just in case you were tempted; small (tiny) wifi cameras are cheap these days so replacing a broken one isn't onerous.

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