Furious man says neighbour’s doorbell camera means he can’t use garden for year

Furious man says neighbour’s doorbell camera means he can’t use garden for year

Mark Fairman, from Paisley, Renfrewshire, claims he has not been able to use his allocated garden space attached to his flat for over a year as a result of the camera

A fed-up resident is calling for the removal of his neighbour’s doorbell camera, which he claims breaches data protection and prevents him from using his own backyard.

Mark Fairman says he hasn’t been able to use the garden for over a year, after his neighbour within the block of four flats where he lives installed a doorbell camera.

Mr Fairman , from Paisley, Renfrewshire, has an allocated garden space attached to his flat, where he has lived for nine years.

The 55-year-old says his privacy is being invaded by the device, which films directly onto his garden.

But he says he is getting nowhere with the local authority to get it removed despite UK laws stating he is within his rights to have it removed.

He has even tried to contact the Information Commissioners office in Edinburgh to no avail.

Council tenant Mark told The Express he just wants it removed, but feels as though he is going around in circles.

“I have contacted the police about it who have told me it’s a civil matter and the council are telling me to speak to the police,” he said.

Currently, he feels as though he is constantly being watched, he said, and that he has no privacy in his own garden.

“I haven’t been able to sit out in my garden since the start of lockdown in March last year. I just don’t feel comfortable with the camera there. It’s only about two feet away.”

The Information Commissioners Office is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

The ICO states: “Data protection laws don’t apply if the cameras cover only the user’s own private property, including their garden. Therefore, visitors caught on these cameras don’t have specific data protection rights in relation to the images captured on those cameras.

“If the cameras capture images of people outside the boundary of the user’s property – for example, in neighbours’ homes or gardens, in shared spaces, or on a public footpath or a street, then neighbours, passers-by and anyone else caught on camera will have rights under the data protection laws.

“Capturing and recording such images is not itself a breach of the data protection laws. But CCTV users must ensure they comply with these laws and respect the data protection rights of people whose images they capture.

This applied to any video surveillance equipment mounted or fixed on a home, as well as cameras fitted into doorbells, the authority stated.

In cases like Mark’s, the ICO said, he has the right to be told he is being filmed, the right to ask for copies of any footage or ask for any of the footage to be deleted.

The independent regulatory body also has the right to ask that the camera does not capture him at all.

Mark said the situation “wasn’t acceptable”.

“Something needs to be done about it as I must have some rights in this situation.”

Renfrewshire Council stated that council tenants require permission when fixing any equipment to a council property .

A spokesman added: “The local Housing Officer continues to provide Mr Fairman with advice as we seek to resolve this matter.

“Any tenant or resident using filming equipment at their property should operate this in a responsible way to respect the privacy of others.”