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.
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.
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:
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: