Security Camera Singapore - Installing security cameras legally for your homes and business in Singapore
We have received many questions on whether it is legal to install security cameras at their HDB apartments, Condominium or businesses in Singapore. This was discussed in length in a post on Facebook group Complaint Singapore. Although it is illegal to install CCTV outside HDB flats without approval, it seems some are doing so, judging from this article from Channel News Asia "Installing CCTVs outside HDB flats is illegal, but more home owners are doing so, say merchants".
SmartCameraSG has done some research online and found that the Singapore Legal Advice's website has an excellent write-up on how to legally to install security cameras in Singapore. You can read the article "How to Legally Install CCTVs for Home/Business Use in Singapore" if you wish to understand in detailed the various legal implications.
We have summarised some of the common questions raised below.
Security or CCTV Cameras for Home Use
Inside your home
If the installation of security camera is inside your home, you are free to do so and there is no need to obtain permission from the authorities. However, you need to be mindful if the camera is pointed to outside of your home as may be restrictions in doing - so example HDB does not allow camera surveillance of common areas. You also need to be careful not to intrude into the privacy of your neighbors.
Outside of your Home
If you plan on installing cctv in your hdb flat, you need to be aware that the area outside your flat is considered common property managed by the Town Council and any installation security cameras outside your flat would require authorization from the HDB. However, from experience, Town Council will not normally take any action unless your cameras or cctvs are causing discomfort to your neighbours and if someone complains.
There are very little restrictions on private properties. However, if you may want to check if there any Condo MC rules or by-laws to comply with.
Before installing a camera, you should also take care not to intrude on the privacy of your neighbours or cause any discomfort so as not to attract complains. In Singapore, the Community Disputes Resolution Act that was passed in 2015, states that any individual “must not” cause “unreasonable interference” with their neighbour’s enjoyment or use of their place of residence, and includes “surveillance” of the neighbour of their place of residence. Should you be found flouting this law, your neighbour can bring civil proceedings in a court against you.
Do we need a permit to install security cameras in Singapore?
Singapore Legal Advice mentioned in their website that you should obtain the required permit to install a CCTV camera and that a contractor with a Security Service Provider license should be engaged for such installation. We believe that this scenario would most likely apply to businesses to ensure that they are not in breach of existing laws such as PDPA. However, if you are installing the cameras inside your homes you should be able to do so without the use of a certified contractor. With IP technology, security camera installations are so simple that anyone can DIY by themselves without any professional help.
SECURITY CAMERA GUIDE
- Security Cameras for your homes
- Choosing a Baby Monitor
- Senior Monitoring & Security System
- Checking your pets with a Pet Camera
- IP Cameras for your business
- Choosing a security camera - types of cameras
- Must have Security Camera features
- Securing your IP Cameras
- Installing your Security Cameras legally
We are 100% online!
No retail stores, giving you greater savings!
Video Security Doorbells
Do note that Video Doorbells are considered security cameras or CCTV as such the same legal considerations also apply to such devices. Depending on where it is installed (outside or inside) or property types, an authorization may be required. Generally, if it is installed to your door it should not require any approval from the authorities such as the Town Council as it can be considered as within your home.
Places where you should never install CCTV cameras
As a rule, security cameras cannot be placed in places where there is an expectation of privacy for example toilets, changing rooms and bedroom. Not only would you breach the trust of loved ones, friends, or customers, you may risk committing of criminal offences of either outrage of modesty or voyeurism.
Security or CCTV Cameras for Business Use
As for the installation of the security camera for businesses you need to note that in addition to the above considerations businesses are also subject to the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). As such businesses are required to notify individuals of the purpose and obtain their consent to collect, use or disclose their personal data, including those captured by CCTV recordings. Also, businesses are required to protect personal data in their possession or control by making reasonable security arrangements.