We live in a world where technology is almost fully integrated into our lives, and one example of this is the presence of security cameras. It’s becoming more and more common to see CCTV systems in the everyday business, workplace and even household. However, security cameras in the workplace can be a tricky thing due to rules set by the Privacy Act.
Although the installation of cameras in the workplace may seem straightforward, a camera that constantly records employees in the workplace is a form of personal data collection. This means that specific rules around the use of CCTV cameras must be followed, so before you go and install those cameras in your workplace, an employer must:
Have a lawful purpose for collecting the employees personal information which is connected with a function or activity of the employers business;
Only collect information that is necessary for that lawful purpose;
Make employees aware that their personal information is being collected, the purpose for which the information is being collected, and the intended recipients of that information (we strongly recommend having a policy which outlines this information to your employees);
Not collect information by means that are unlawful, unfair, or unreasonably intrusive to the employee;
Ensure the recordings / personal information is stored safely and securely, for no longer than is necessary;
Ensure employees are aware that the information is being stored, have access to, and can correct, that information if required; and
Only use, or disclose, the personal information for the purposes for which it was collected – this often catches employers out when they attempt to use footage collected for health and safety or security purposes in a disciplinary process.
As mentioned above, a policy is the best way to inform your employees about the cameras and their purpose. Once a policy is ready to go, make sure you distribute it to all employees and get them to sign it.
Policies like these can seem simple, but if key information is excluded, this may be a problem for an employer down the track. Fortunately, here at iCLAW we’re experts on the Privacy Act and policy drafting, so if you’d like a hand with your workplace CCTV camera policy, get in touch with the team today.