Requesting Access to CCTV Footage Pursuant to the Data Protection Legislation
We are often asked by clients who have been involved in accidents which have been caught on CCTV footage, whether or not they are entitled to request a copy of that CCTV footage.
We have been involved in a number of cases where CCTV has been invaluable in successfully proving a Plaintiff’s claim. CCTV footage of an incident has proven vital in numerous situations such as road traffic accidents, accidents in the workplace, public liability incidents or assaults etc.
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, CCTV footage is not limited to the traditional camera mounted on a shop wall or on the corner of a street. It now includes footage which may be obtained on a person’s camera phone, a dash camera in vehicles and security personnel are also now using body cameras whilst carrying out their work.
Any person whose image has been recorded on a CCTV system or camera has a right to request a copy of that footage pursuant to the Data Protection legislation, as these images constitute “Personal Data”. In order to exercise this right, an application must be made in writing to the Data Controller. The Data Controller is the person/company who will have control over or hold a copy of the CCTV footage in question. Under the new Data Protection legislation, requests are generally processed free of charge and the Data Controller is obliged to respond to your request within 1 month of receiving same.
When you make a CCTV footage request, a certain amount of information must be provided to the Data Controller such as the exact location and specific date and time within which the footage was captured. If it is not possible to give a specific time, then an approximate time period will suffice.
If images of other parties appear in the CCTV footage, the images of those parties will be redacted and you will simply be provided with the CCTV which captures your image only.
Once your request is received by the Data Controller, he/she has an obligation to either provide you with a copy of that footage in electronic format or if the footage is incapable of being copied in electronic format, pictures or “stills” of the footage must be provided.
As outlined above, the Data Controller generally has 1 month to respond to your request and if he/she fails to do so, then a complaint can be made to the Data Protection Commission.
It is important to note that requests for CCTV footage should be made as soon as possible following an incident as if the recording no longer exists on the date that the Data Controller receives the request, then it will not be possible for you to obtain a copy of same.
It is important to note that, generally, CCTV footage may be deleted or overridden within a short period of time (sometimes as little as 3 days). Therefore, time is of the essence and it is important to act as speedily as possible in submitting a request.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353(0)214275673 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
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