Legal Considerations Around Recording Customers Who Enter My Business

As a business, you may consider installing video surveillance on your premises to discourage theft or ensure the safety of your customers and personnel. However, your business may suffer significant legal implications if you do not adhere to legal requirements around filming or recording customers that enter your store.

.

This article explains the legal requirements around the use of optical surveillance devices. Additionally, it considers the potential consequences of breaching customers’ privacy, as demonstrated by the 7-Eleven case. 

Is it Legal to Record Customers Who Enter My Business?

There are certain situations where it is not illegal to collect the personal information of individuals. This includes collecting their images or identity information. Installing optical surveillance devices, such as CCTV, which collect videos or images of customers that enter your business is legal. However, if you elect to record customers through these devices, you must comply with certain laws. 

Restrictions 

The Privacy Act 1998 (‘Privacy Act’) applies to personal information and governs how businesses can handle their customers’ personal information. The Act will apply to a business if the business:

  • has an annual turnover of over $3 million;
  • provides a health service, or holds health information;
  • is a contractor for the Commonwealth government; or 
  • trades in personal information (e.g. sells personal information to other parties).

Such businesses will be ‘APP entities’ that must comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act

Suppose your business is covered under the law. Then any personal information that you collect through your surveillance devices must comply with the Australian Privacy Principles under the Act, which require you to: 

  • inform customers that you may capture their images before recording takes place. For example, you may post clear signage at the entrance of and throughout your premises, and install cameras in clearly visible locations on your premises to ensure adequate notification to customers that they may be under surveillance; 
  • ensure that any personal information recorded is stored securely, and either destroyed or de-identified when you no longer require the information. For example, you may delete CCTV footage of customers every month; and 
  • only use or disclose the information recorded for the primary collection purpose, for example, to seek action against a person who committed theft on your premises (or for a secondary purpose if an exemption applies).

May Preedeesanit
May 11
legalvision.com.au

More Articles

Countries producing the most solar power by gigawatt hours

Check out the countries that produce the most solar...

Read full article

Illegal access nets $637 million

The ATO has found $637 million of superannuation savings has left the system due to illegal early access...

Read full article

Could your SMSF do with more diversification?

Australian Tax Office Office data shows a high percentage of SMSFs are lacking portfolio...

Read full article

Trustee decisions are at their own discretion: expert

A trustee doesn’t need to show reasons why they made a decision, they will only need to show they followed a...

Read full article

Planning financially for a career break

A pause in super contributions can have long-lasting effects. Here's how to plan ahead for super...

Read full article

Regular reviews and safekeeping of documents vital: expert

Keeping track of all documents relating to an SMSF trust deed is important if an estate planning issue arises...

Read full article

Investment and economic outlook, February 2024

Region-by-region economic outlook and latest forecasts for investment returns. . U.S. consumers in...

Read full article

Latest stats back up research into SMSF longevity and returns: educator

There was a dramatic decrease in the number of SMSF wind-ups from 2018 to 2023, indicating that the SMS...

Read full article

Sofie Korac is an Authorised Representative (No. 400164) of Prudentia Financial Planning Pty Ltd, AFSL 544118 and a member of the Association of Financial Advisers.

Financial Advice Sydney and the North Shore Office based in Gordon NSW

Financial Services Guide - Disclaimer & Privacy Policy

^