This ACT lot owner is concerned about the installation of CCTV cameras. This question has been answered by Jan Browne, Bridge Strata.
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- QUESTION: In ACT, are lot owners permitted to install CCTV cameras on their lot? If Owners Corporations install CCTV cameras, is this permitted and what procedures should they follow?
- QUESTION: Our building manager has access to the common property CCTV footage. When does reviewing CCTV footage and querying activity become an invasion of privacy?
Question: In ACT, are lot owners permitted to install CCTV cameras on their lot? If Owners Corporations install CCTV cameras, is this permitted and what procedures should they follow?
- Can a lot owner install surveillance cameras that record the comings and goings within the scheme? We feel we are constantly monitored. What can we do about this other than speak with the neighbour?
- Our Owners Corporation has no CCTV Policy, Commonwealth Acts and ACT Legislation being applicable.
Our Managing Agent & the Executive committee have elected to exclude any reference to CCTV Policy development and implementation from this year’s AGM Agenda.
The plan is to raise the CCTV policy discussion as “general business” at the upcoming AGM, ensuring only members attending the AGM are able to debate & vote on this policy.
The policy decided by those Owners attending the AGM will then be implemented by the Managing agent.
Members of the owners corporation who are not present at the AGM therefore have no knowledge or input to the CCTV Policy.
Answer: As long as the recorded videos don’t infringe on your privacy and are for lawful purpose only, it is legal for your neighbour to point a security camera at your property in plain view. If the Owners Corporation installs CCTV Cameras on common property, they should develop an ongoing CCTV policy.
As long as the recorded videos don’t infringe on your privacy and are for lawful purpose only (like monitoring suspects or prevent package thefts at the front door), it is legal for your neighbour to point a security camera at your property in plain view. There has been a lot of controversy in recent times as to the location of CCTV Cameras and concerns from neighbours on privacy.
As long as the camera is located on their property, it is legal (in most states).
It is still illegal to record audio, even on a hidden camera.
The Acts Governing CCTV cameras are covered by the below legislations.
- Human Rights Act 2004
- Information Privacy Act 2014
- Workplace Privacy Act 2011
- Territory Records Act 2002
- Surveillance Devices Act 2007
Understand the concerns of the owners and the first solution would be to talk over those concerns with the neighbour.
If the Owners Corporation agrees to the install on common property, it is advisable for the Owners Corporation to develop an ongoing CCTV policy including the requirement for requests for footage etc.
Especially if there are costs involved in retrieving footage.
The policy developed by the Owners Corporation on CCTV should ideally be an item for all owners to have input into as it involves action and policy relating to the day to day comings of all residents.
The only other solution may be a private action through ACAT or a private mediation.
This post appears in Strata News #502.
Questions: Our building manager has access to the common property CCTV footage. When does reviewing CCTV footage and querying activity become an invasion of privacy?
We are in the ACT. Our building manager has access to the common property CCTV footage. We do not have a current CCTV written policy
I am a Committee member and am currently showing prospective contractors through the building to seek quotes for new contracts.
I recently became aware that the building manager is logging into the system from offsite and watching my activity via the CCTV and is then questioning others who accompanied me as to who I was with.
Noting that we have warning signs around the common areas to advise that the CCTV is present, what are my expectations of privacy, and when does reviewing footage and querying activity become an invasion of privacy?
Answer: It is advisable for a scheme to have a Policy in relation to their CCTV set up including the requirements around when footage is viewed and who can view that footage.
There is a presumption that when a person is in public and especially if signage is installed it would be legal to record a person on the property. There would be an unwritten reasonable expectation when relevant signage and/or cameras are installed that a person would be recorded.
Below is an extract from the OAIC (Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) Govt website:
“If the photo or video was taken by someone acting in a personal capacity, the Privacy Act doesn’t apply — because it doesn’t cover individuals.
In some situations, there may be state or territory laws that prevent someone from photographing your private activities without your consent. Contact the Attorney-General’s Department in your state or territory for more information or the police if you are concerned for your safety”.
It is advisable for a scheme to have a Policy in relation to their CCTV set up including the requirements around when footage is viewed and who can view that footage. (usually a request from police). You could also include a policy as to when the Building Manager could access the footage. and for what purposes.
This post appears in Strata News #412.
Have a question about the installation of CCTV cameras or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
- NSW: Invasion of Privacy by CCTV Cameras
- NSW: Q&A Handling a False Accusation of Privacy Breach
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This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
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