What to do about intrusive CCTV

Salvadore

Registered User
Messages
20
I'd be grateful for the assistance of AAM members in relation to an issue I'm having with a neighbour's CCTV.

Long story short, he has two cameras in his back garden, both of which take in our back garden. One, in particular, is very intrusive in that it's at the rear of the garden pointing towards the back of our houses. It's within the line of sight of our kitchen and has the capacity to watch us while we're there.

It doesn't bother me personally but at the same time it's clearly wrong. My question is how best can I give effect to its removal. We haven't spoken in years so the "quiet word" approach isn't an option I'm afraid.

I thought of going to the Gardaí but am loath to go to the extreme of having them call to a neighbour. The GDPR/Data Protection angle was also raised but this seems a bit convoluted - I'd have to approach him as a data controller and seek copied of the data he's holding, but this doesn't address the issue of the camera itself.

Any thoughts?
 

Drakon

Frequent Poster
Messages
858
The last time I was in a rented house the landlord lived next door. There was no hedge or wall out front and you could see straight in from the road into the rooms. Anytime the landlord or her husband drove or walked past, they’d have a good gawp in.
Though the master bedroom was to the back of the house, I’d always get changed in one of the front rooms. Before and after a shower, before and after bedtime.
This didn’t seem to bother them until I took up naked yoga. Downward dog, sun salutations, etc. I’m not sure if this worked either as I wasn’t facing the window.

Bottom line (yes, pun intended) give them something they don’t want to look at, and they probably won’t look.
 

MangoJoe

Frequent Poster
Messages
129
Will be watching this thread with interest OP - Just so you know, I would be very, very unhappy if my Neighbour had CCTV oversight of my house and garden. Most especially the rear of the house, where you might expect to go about your business with even less observance from 3rd parties.

Modern CCTV systems are now potentially very high resolution with massive scope for zooming right into the subject matter and would also potentially have motion alerts so in theory he could record your every move in extremely high detail and play them back later on his phone, laptop or TV.

As someone interested in installing multiple cameras myself I would never dream of situating them so that they cover an inch of my neighbours garden, house or windows.

If you think about it you wouldn't erect a viewing platform overlooking the rear of your neighbours house and sit there all day observing their activities and private lives.... So why should they be allowed to effectively do this via technology??!

I would hope that legislation exists to prevent this type of serious and unsettling intrusion and wish you the very best of luck in resolving this.
 
Last edited:

Leo

Moderator
Messages
11,892
The GDPR/Data Protection angle was also raised but this seems a bit convoluted
There's a domestic exemption for home CCTV, see the DPC guidance here. Note the Rynes case mentioned established that any coverage outside the operator's private property did not enjoy that exemption.

Beyond data protection, the only real option outside of talking to them is the civil legal route on invasion of privacy grounds. The Gardai will do nothing as it's a civil matter.
 

elcato

Moderator
Messages
3,537
Can you get a dummy camera pointing into his garden and then see if he reacts ?
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,834
It's within the line of sight of our kitchen and has the capacity to watch us while we're there.
This is pretty awful.

Bear in mind it's very hard to see what is going on behind double-glazed windows in daylight, even less via a camera. He can probably see less than you think. If you have bright lights on and it's night time obviously this is different.

You could probably disable the whole set up after dark by focussing a bright light directly at his camera.
 

Páid

Frequent Poster
Messages
609
It doesn't bother me personally but at the same time it's clearly wrong. My question is how best can I give effect to its removal. We haven't spoken in years so the "quiet word" approach isn't an option I'm afraid.
I think the first option should always be taking to your neighbour. If they don't want to talk or if they disagree that's another matter. At least you tried.

You can then escalate the issue if necessary.
 

Jazz01

Frequent Poster
Messages
846
@Salvadore
You could get one of the laser pens, position it from within your house and point it at the camera - which should create enough light to stop the camera from doing it's job.
Also, you could ask the guards where you stand in relation to this - they are there to help and recommend things (don't mention the laser pen :) idea), especially as you both don't talk to each other... then again, this could be a chance to reach out to the neighbour and start talking again.
 

Clamball

Frequent Poster
Messages
162
I think the first step you have to do is speak or write to your neighbour expressing your concern that his cctv is recording your house garden and kitchen and is invading your privacy. Ask him to reposition it so that it does not cover your property.

Then give him a week and when he does nothing follow up with a solicitor letter. Then when he does nothing speak to the guards. Do we have peeping Tom legislation in this country?
 

Salvadore

Registered User
Messages
20
Bear in mind it's very hard to see what is going on behind double-glazed windows in daylight, even less via a camera. He can probably see less than you think. If you have bright lights on and it's night time obviously this is different.
Yeah that occurred to me alright. The difficulty is that during the bright evenings you can't sit on the patio without being in full view. In the short days the lights are on and everything indoors in on view then as well.

Thanks to everyone for the advice. It doesn't seem like there's a specific law that's being broken though.
 

Páid

Frequent Poster
Messages
609
I think that you will find that your neighbours primary motivation is security. If you mention it to him/her they may be able to show you what the camera sees and it may put your mind at ease.

Going to a solicitor or the Gardaí will only get their back up. Indeed they may ask you if you have discussed it with your neighbour before going to them.
 

DeeKie

Frequent Poster
Messages
666
This is a breach of constitutional rights and Article 8 of the EcHR. Not easy to enforce.
 

Salvadore

Registered User
Messages
20
The camera also takes in my kid’s bedroom. I’m not suggesting anything sinister but it strikes me that my neighbour is leaving himself open to serious accusations if that interpretation was chosen.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,834
Not in this instance. It’s intimidation. There’s been other stuff.

There is clearly a lot of bad stuff here that the OP doesn't want to go into. He is long past the point where advice like "try talking to him" or "write him a letter" is feasible.

You need to talk to a solicitor to see what your legal options are.
 

thelad77

Frequent Poster
Messages
72
Maybe you could simply put net curtains in the kitchen windows, or put up a high wooden fence to block the camera, on your neighbours side.
I find it strange I go by some houses at night the lights are on,
and anyone passing on the street can look in to the front room or the
Kitchen
as the curtains are not closed .
There might be some type of one way plastic you could put on the windows outside that would
would make it hard to see anything inside .
 

thelad77

Frequent Poster
Messages
72
Google one way privacy film, it coats glass with a reflective film,
You can see out as normal, no one can see in,
Your window looks like a mirror from the outside
 

thelad77

Frequent Poster
Messages
72
It sounds like there's maybe a fued going on or your neighbour does not like you, I wonder is it really necessary for the camera to point in your direction and to take in your
Entire garden and your kids bedroom

But on the other hand does every bedroom not have curtains or blinds

Why would anyone have a bedroom window with no curtains open to view for a neighbour or passers by

?
The fact that the child is in that room is not really relevant in this case

Basic white net curtains are cheap and easy to install .

I understand maybe if someone lives in a one off house with no neighbours it may not be necessary to have curtains on all upstairs windows
 

MrEarl

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,986
Don't worry about not having spoken with them in a long time, call in to them, explain that you have a concern that they are invading your privacy and ask them to relocate / redirect the camera. Keep the conversation simple, polite and to the point.

If they agree to change the camera, press a little for a prompt commitment as to when it will be done (it's not a big deal, so it shouldn't take weeks).

If they refuse, just leave and on on your departure, tell them that you regret that they have put you in this position, but you'll now have to seek an alternative solution
 
Top