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Ring doorbell owners could face hefty fine as many break the law without even realising

Ring doorbell owners could face hefty fine as many break the law without even realising

Make sure you are compliant with the legal requirements.

Smart doorbells have done wonders for home security. If you see someone knocking that you don't know or isn't an expected Amazon delivery, you can check who it is from the comfort of your couch.

However, many homeowners could be unknowingly breaking the law with their smart doorbells or home CCTV. They could even face a potential £100,000 penalty, according to security expert, Carlos Dhunay.

Dhunay, from Telcamm, pointed out the importance of keeping home security systems legally compliant.

He stressed that anyone with smart doorbells, CCTV cameras, or similar devices needs to understand the legal requirements to avoid unnecessary fines and legal disputes.

'Many homeowners unknowingly break the law with their security cameras and smart doorbells,' he said.

Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty
Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

'While having a security system is a great idea, if it records footage outside your property line, like a public sidewalk or your neighbour's garden, you could face hefty fines (up to £100,000) or even criminal charges for violating data protection laws.'

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) can take action against non-compliance from homeowners.

With that in mind, here's how to keep your home security legal this summer.

'It's increasingly common for homeowners to install surveillance systems for safety benefits,' Dhunay added. 'However, it's essential to follow guidelines to avoid unlawfully filming individuals. Secretly filming, even on private property, is illegal.'

If your cameras capture anything beyond your property line, like your neighbour's house, garden or a public area, the Data Protection Act (DPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) come into play.

Violating these regulations could lead to penalties from the ICO or lawsuits from the affected individuals.

EyeWolf / Getty
EyeWolf / Getty

'To avoid this, put up clear and visible signs at key entry points informing people that recording devices are in operation. This transparency deters crime and fulfils legal requirements,' Dhunay continued.

Highlighting the need to respect privacy, he advised: 'For those considering CCTV or smart camera installations, it's vital to inform neighbours and ensure signs are prominently displayed to notify individuals of the recording.

'Remember, security shouldn't come at the expense of your neighbours' privacy. Inform them and anyone potentially captured on camera, especially if the camera's view extends beyond your property.'

Such an approach will encourage community awareness, avoid any misunderstandings and keep you on good terms with your neighbours.

Also when it comes to storage, make sure your recordings have 'accurate timestamps for easy review and have sufficient storage capacity to retain footage as needed.'

He concluded: 'These measures not only support legal compliance but also enhance the effectiveness of security systems in protecting homes and occupants.'

Featured Image Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Staff / EyeWolf / Getty

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