Closed Cir­cuit Tele­vi­sion (CCTV) is a secu­ri­ty mea­sure put in place to detect and pre­vent crime. A com­plex mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem uses CCTV Secu­ri­ty Cam­eras to per­form sur­veil­lance. The Unit­ed King­dom leads the way in CCTV sur­veil­lance, with 20 per­cent of the world’s cam­eras found there. Bei­jing, Lon­don and Chica­go are the cities with the most cam­eras, while the major Cana­di­an cities trail far behind. How­ev­er, that does not mean that you can­not install a CCTV secu­ri­ty cam­era on your Cana­di­an home or busi­ness premis­es. Here are some legal require­ments that you should know before you hook up your CCTV cam­era sys­tem.

CCTV Cameras

How does CCTV work?

CCTV   is a sys­tem com­prised of a cam­era, a cable and a mon­i­tor. The mon­i­tor is placed in a sur­veil­lance room where you can see what the cam­era picks up. CCTV sys­tems that sur­vey larg­er areas like ware­hous­es are more intri­cate and con­sist of mul­ti­ple cam­eras, mon­i­tors, con­trollers and record­ing instru­ments.

Is CCTV legal in Cana­da?

It is legal to install a CCTV cam­era in Cana­da. Still, there are some rules involved that you must abide by. The first thing to con­sid­er regard­ing CCTV sys­tems is the inten­tion. In Cana­da, if the intent of your sur­veil­lance sys­tem is for protection—to pro­tect your fam­i­ly or business—then you are good to go. CCTV sys­tems used to enhance the pro­tec­tion of your fam­i­ly, busi­ness assets, employ­ees or per­son­al prop­er­ty are con­sid­ered legal.

What areas can­not be sur­veilled by CCTV cam­eras?

You can install CCTV cam­eras in areas where your safe­ty is threat­ened. For exam­ple, if you are expe­ri­enc­ing a surge in van­dal­ism in your store, you can place a cam­era over the area that is being van­dal­ized. How­ev­er, you can­not install CCTV cam­eras in sen­si­tive areas like wash­rooms, lock­er rooms and dress­ing rooms because that is a direct vio­la­tion of pri­va­cy. Even if your busi­ness restroom is con­stant­ly cov­ered in graf­fi­ti and you want to catch the cul­prit, you can­not legal­ly use a CCTV cam­era in that area.

It is also a good idea to install and may mit­i­gate lia­bil­i­ty to install warn­ing signs that the premis­es are under CCTV sur­veil­lance.

Before you install your sys­tem, do your research. Some munic­i­pal­i­ties can have their own laws regard­ing CCTV instal­la­tion, so it is best to check with your local branch of gov­ern­ment to ensure that you are not break­ing any laws with your sur­veil­lance sys­tem.

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Brandon Baum
Brandon Baum has been at Protection Plus since he was born in 1998. Since Graduating from Ryerson in 2020, he has been at the company full-time. Currently, his title is Chief Security Officer.