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How to Avoid GDPR Penalties with CCTV Signage

26/03/2018 in Security

Whether you like it or not, GDPR is coming and all businesses need to ensure they are compliant or they could risk some rather hefty fines. The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) apply across all EU member states including the UK, despite Brexit, from 25th May 2018.

The GDPR rules will change the way personal data is handled and will strengthen compliance requirements, introducing strict penalties where the personal data protection standards are not met. Businesses can be fined up to 20 million Euros or 4% of turnover (whichever is the highest), which means that they need to take the new rules seriously.


Many construction companies will be using CCTV to monitor employees, for health and safety reasons and to better secure their site. What these construction businesses may be unaware of though, is that any images and footage captured by their surveillance systems is deemed as personal data under GDPR. This means that construction site CCTV operators must be adhering to the new regulations or could risk a personal data breach and therefore a serious fine.

Informing people of CCTV operation

Transparency is an important aspect under GDPR and it essentially means that people who are being filmed by your CCTV cameras are entitled to know that this is taking place. As such, you need to inform them of its operations.

The best way to do this is to provide clear, unambiguous signage in a prominent location within the CCTV area, which easily communicates that footage is being captured. If people require further information on how this ‘personal data’ is being used, there should be a number attached for them to contact.

Construction Site CCTV Checklist

  • Your signs should be clear, visible and legible, with your businesses’ details and the purpose of the CCTV’s operation, along with a contact number to obtain more information.
  • The size of the sign should be appropriate given its context. For instance, if the sign needs to be seen from a car, then it must be bigger.
  • Staff responsible for the CCTV operation should be aware of what to do and who exactly to contact in the event of a person making an enquiry into the CCTV system’s use.
  • Be careful when positioning your CCTV cameras. Although you may intend to only capture footage on your construction site, if not positioned correctly, it can still capture passers-by. In this case, CCTV signage needs to be prominent outside of your construction site too, to cover all the right areas.

The new GDPR rules will present challenges for all businesses, however, they should not discourage fair CCTV use. Instead, operators should take steps to uphold the regulations by making sure people being filmed are aware as to how and why surveillance is taking place.

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