CCTV use by churches

In March 2018 we posted CCTV in Churches – windows into men’s souls? which noted the encouragement given to churches to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) as an aid to the security of their contents and personnel and in relation to hate crime and terrorist threats. The consistory court judgment Re St Mary Chartham [2017] ECC Can1 addressed the use and storage of CCTV footage, data protection, and recommended what criteria might be adopted in the future.

Subsequently, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018 under the Data Protection Act 2018; this superseded the previous 1998 Data Protection Act, and implemented UK-specific components of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR). The Church of England’s Parish Resources website reviewed the requirements of the UK provisions, Data Protection: Parishes and the “GDPR”.

The Church of England web pages provide advice on the installation and use of CCTV, including a GDPR-compliant template policy document and signage “that will allow churches and cathedrals to govern the installation and operation of all CCTV cameras within their church or cathedral buildings or any separate building or land that are owned and controlled by them”.

The recent case involving the “smart” doorbells and cameras, Fairhurst v Woodwardat the Oxford County Court, has raised further issues of privacy and data protection. Continue reading