Are you considering installing CCTV cameras at your WA premises to protect your business against internal theft or other incidents? Good move. But if you’re wondering what the Surveillance Devices Act 1998 (WA) says with respect to camera surveillance and workplace surveillance, then keep reading.
Good news is we’ve been in this industry for many years and know a lot about this topic. As professionals, it’s our job to explain the rules so you know exactly what’s allowed when we’re installing your new surveillance cameras.
Are you allowed to use CCTV to monitor employees?
According to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) doesn’t specify rules for workplace surveillance. Regardless, the OAIC states that if your business is covered by the Privacy Act then it may be reasonable for you to install surveillance cameras to monitor employees if you wish to ensure that they’re “performing their duties and using resources appropriately”. As long as you comply with the Surveillance Devices Act.
Additionally, the OAIC reminds us that the Privacy Act regulates how you collect and handle recordings of your employees. To cut a long story short, the Privacy Act states you must notify your employees before installing and activating CCTV cameras in the workplace. You’re also obligated to keep the recording safe to protect your employees’ privacy. When it’s no longer needed, you must destroy or de-identify the video.
What else you need to know about workplace surveillance?
These rules also apply to recording devices such as spy cameras, handheld video cameras, and other devices equipped with cameras (smartphones, tablets, drones and laptops). However, we only recommend using professional CCTV cameras for your business.
With a proper CCTV surveillance system, you have a great method used to store the videos. You also get more space for more video time. Another reason is you get quality surveillance cameras that provide clear video you can use as evidence. This is because what you capture on video may be crucial to solving your internal theft case or other incidents (e.g. break-ins or accidental falls on site) and be admissible in legal proceedings. So get quality video. Even the police recommend that provide them with high-quality footage.
And then you have the strata bylaws. Let’s say your property is part of a strata title. You must first find out from your agents whether installing a CCTV network will contravene any bylaws. You may require permission from other owners to install CCTV at the site.
One more thing … only hire an experienced CCTV installer who can answer:
- Could you be breaching employee privacy?
- Are you allowed to record ‘private activities’?
- Can you film your customers as well?
- Are you allowed to film covertly?
- Is it OK to record sound?
- What type of device are you allowed to install?
- Where are you allowed to position the cameras?
- What does the WA Police recommend in respect to quality and storage?
- What’s illegal to do with the information, footage, and images recorded?
So an installer who has your interest at heart.
If you need more information about getting a CCTV system installed for workplace surveillance, contact us today. Remember, theft is theft, and it’s important to know who’s stealing from your business.