With the introduction of GDPR last year, the way a business captures and handles their CCTV footage has drastically changed.  While a request for information from a member of the public is one thing, a request from An Garda Síochána will be dealt with in a different way.  Let’s look at the protocol.

Gardaí Request CCTV

It is acceptable for a Garda to view any footage on your site, but you must retain a record of them viewing it, including their Badge Number and Station, and the reason given for the viewing.

For them to receive a copy of any footage then the rules are slightly different.  The Data Protection Commission has recommended that these requests should only be granted when the request is submitted in writing.  The request should state that they need the footage as part of an investigation of a criminal nature and it should be on their own headed paper.

If the request is of an urgent nature, then a verbal request may be sufficient but this should also be followed up with a formal request in writing.   A request to view footage on your own premises should not necessarily be of concern when it comes to data protection.   This would be common practice, sometimes this may be followed up for a request to download the footage for removal by them.

It is advisable to keep a record of the request for your own records in case of a later query.  The written request should be on their headed paper, outlining what footage is sought and the reason for the request.   Redaction of this footage is not necessary as the request from them in a criminal matter supersedes all other requirements.

Personal Data

Anybody that has been recorded on CCTV footage has the right to see a copy of their own personal data from your CCTV footage.  Following a personal data subject request there is a bit of work involved for the business.  Before the CCTV footage is shared, the other people in the footage will need to be unidentifiable, this is where video redaction comes into play.  Their faces will need to be blurred or pixelated.

When you are recording activity using CCTV you will be handling personal data and this brings responsibilities.  It is not acceptable to shrug shoulders and claim to ‘not be an expert on these things’.  With the risk of significant penalties, it is vital that you as a business owner, and now data controller, are compliant in this regard.    For more advice and information around redaction of CCTV footage, you can speak with the expert team at Datascan Redaction Services.