Privacy & CCTV Cameras (incl audio)
CCTV Privacy (incl audio)
Should you record audio/sound with your CCTV Cameras

We often get asked about privacy concerns when it comes to CCTV cameras. This happens with residential installations and also in Body Corporate situations.

We have no legal qualifications or direct experience but, when it comes to video recordings, our understanding is as follows:

It is an offence to video record people without their consent in places where they would expect to be private, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or changeroom.

Therefore we avoid viewing a neighbours property as much as possible and also install a “privacy mask” on the camera view as required.

However, with most DIY products, they also record sound and this too has VERY serious ramifications.

Once again we have no legal qualifications or direct experience but, when it comes to video+audio recordings, our understanding is as follows:

It is an offence to audio record a private conversation you are not involved in. So what does this mean in terms of a CCTV camera that recorders both video and sound?

In short we believe that if someone is recorded (with sound) and without knowing they are being recorded with sound (or without the CCTV owner being part of the recording) then it is illegal. In addition not only is the audio portion illegal but also the video – as they were both recorded on the that same device (and that device was in breach of the law).

Therefore we never suggest or recommend sound is recorded when CCTV cameras are installed – and if a client insists we warn them of the risks involved – as ultimately it is their system, they have control of the videos, so they are responsible.

The following 2 documents may be of interest for those who want more information:

https://www.oic.qld.gov.au/guidelines/for-community-members/Information-sheets-privacy-principles/camera-surveillance,-video,-and-audio-recording-a-community-guide

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2018C00464