Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a security measure put in place to detect and prevent crime. Through a complex monitoring system, CCTV is used to perform surveillance. The United Kingdom leads the way in CCTV surveillance with 20-percent of the world’s cameras found there. Beijing, London and Chicago are the cities with the most cameras, while the major Canadian cities trail far behind. However, that does not mean that you cannot install a CCTV camera on the premises of your Canadian home or business. There are some legal requirements that you should know before you hook up your CCTV system.
How does CCTV work?
CCTV is a system comprised of a camera, a cable and a monitor. The monitor is placed in a surveillance room where you can see what the camera picks up. CCTV systems that survey larger areas like warehouses are more intricate and consist of multiple cameras, monitors, controllers and recording instruments.
Is CCTV legal in Canada?
It is legal to install a CCTV camera in Canada. Still, there are some rules involved that you must abide by. The first thing to consider when it comes to CCTV systems is intention. In Canada, if the intent of your surveillance system is for protection—to protect your family or business—then you are good to go. CCTV systems that are used to enhance the protection of your family, business assets, employees or personal property are regarded as legal.
What areas cannot be surveilled by CCTV cameras?
Generally, you can install CCTV cameras in areas where your safety is threatened. For example if you are experiencing a surge in vandalism in your store, you can place a camera over the area that is being vandalized. However, you cannot install CCTV cameras in sensitive areas like washrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms because that is a direct violation of privacy. Even if the washroom of your business is constantly covered in graffiti and you want to catch the culprit, you cannot legally use a CCTV camera in that area.
It is also a good idea to install and may mitigate liability, to install warning signs that the premises is under CCTV surveillance.
Before you install your system, do your research. Some municipalities can have their own laws when it comes to CCTV installation, so it is best to check with your local branch of government to ensure that you are not breaking any laws with your surveillance system.