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Using CCTV Cameras on Strata Property in BC

Using CCTV Cameras on Strata Property in BC

We delve into the necessity of using CCTV cameras on strata property and discuss methods to utilize them without infringing on Strata Owner’s privacy. In today’s world, CCTV surveillance is ubiquitous and, despite some negative perceptions due to misuse, can significantly enhance a property’s security.  We will examine how to boost security when using CCTV cameras on strata property while respecting the privacy of owners and residents, as well as the necessary steps to take before installation.

You might wonder if it’s possible to install CCTV cameras on your strata property, especially if your strata corportaion or strata council is contemplating such a decision. Although the basic answer is affirmative, numerous intricate laws govern this matter, and ethical considerations must also be taken into account.

The Strata Property Act in British Columbia does not specifically address video surveillance or using CCTV cameras on strata property. However, it does provide guidance on managing common property and ensuring the safety and security of strata communities. Strata corporations must make decisions and establish bylaws that align with the best interests of the community and comply with other relevant legislation.

Although the Strata Property Act does not provide specific rules on video surveillance, strata corporations should be aware of their responsibilities under PIPA and other relevant legislation. They should also involve residents in the decision-making process, create clear bylaws regarding CCTV systems, and ensure that these systems are used in a manner that respects privacy and complies with the law.

Why you want to be using CCTV cameras on strata property.

Not only can CCTV cameras on strata property be useful for secuirty, they are also useful for safety, especially around swimming pools. CCTV can come  in handy for helping to establish who is at fault in an insurance claim, not to mention identifying the people who ignored signs not to take glassware to the swimming pool and caused it to be drained after they smashed a wine glass. Other reasons your strata may want to consider CCTV:

  • If your property has experienced recent break-ins
  • If there has been an increase in crime in your neighbourhood
  • If there have been disputes involving threatening behaviour
  • If your strata property does not have an adequate security system or by-laws and building rules
  • If there have been instances of non-owners or residents using your strata property’s facilities or amenities without permission.

 When Using CCTV Cameras on Strata Property

A strata corporation must address several privacy concerns to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations, as well as to respect the privacy of residents and visitors when using CCTV on strata property. In British Columbia, the main legislation that applies to strata corporations with respect to privacy and the use of CCTV in common areas of a strata property is the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). This provincial legislation governs how private organizations, including strata corporations, collect, use, and disclose personal information.

Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)

When implementing a CCTV system in common areas, strata corporations must ensure that their practices comply with the requirements set out in PIPA. Key aspects to consider include:

Consent

Strata corporations must obtain consent from individuals before collecting their personal information, including video footage. Consent can be implied in some cases, such as through the posting of clear and visible signs notifying residents and visitors about the presence of CCTV cameras.

Purpose

PIPA requires that personal information, including CCTV footage, must be collected for a reasonable purpose. ome examples of reasonable purposes for collecting CCTV footage in the context of strata corporations or other property management situations include:

  • Ensuring safety and security: CCTV footage can be collected to protect residents, visitors, and employees, and to maintain a safe living environment within the property.
  • Preventing and detecting criminal activity: CCTV systems can be used to deter potential criminals, as well as to capture evidence of criminal activity, such as theft, vandalism, or property damage, that may occur on the premises.
  • Monitoring access to restricted areas: CCTV can be used to control and monitor access to restricted or sensitive areas within the property, such as parking garages, storage rooms, or maintenance areas.
  • Supporting emergency response: CCTV footage can be collected and used to assist emergency responders in identifying and addressing potential safety hazards or emergencies on the property, such as fires, gas leaks, or medical emergencies.
  • Resolving disputes: CCTV footage can be helpful in resolving disputes among residents or between residents and the strata corporation, particularly when the footage provides evidence of rule violations or other incidents that have led to the dispute.
  • Liability and insurance purposes: CCTV footage can be used to substantiate insurance claims or defend against potential liability claims related to accidents or incidents on the property.
  • Ensuring compliance with rules and regulations: CCTV can be used to monitor compliance with strata rules and regulations, such as proper use of common areas or adherence to parking restrictions.

Limiting Collection

Strata corporations should only collect personal information that is necessary for the identified purpose. In the context of CCTV systems, this means limiting the use of cameras to areas where there is a legitimate security need and not capturing excessive amounts of personal information.

Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention

Personal information collected by strata corporations should only be used or disclosed for the purpose it was collected, and it should be retained only as long as necessary for that purpose. This means that CCTV footage should be accessed only when there is a valid security reason, and it should be securely stored and deleted after a reasonable period.

Accuracy

Strata corporations should make efforts to ensure that the personal information they collect is accurate and complete.

Security

Strata corporations must implement reasonable security measures to protect the personal information they collect, including CCTV footage. This could involve encrypting the data, using secure storage systems, and limiting access to authorized personnel only.

Openness and Accountability

Strata corporations must make their policies and practices related to the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information readily available to residents and visitors. They should also designate a Strata Privacy Officer to handle inquiries and complaints related to their privacy practices.

In conclusion, when installing CCTV on strata property in British Columbia, it is essential to carefully consider the balance between security and privacy. Strata corporations and strata owners must work together to establish clear policies and procedures that adhere to the Privacy Guidelines for Strata Corporations and Strata Owners, as well as relevant legislation such as PIPA. By involving residents in the decision-making process, conducting regular reviews, and ensuring transparency, strata corporations can create a secure environment while respecting the privacy rights of their community members.

Not Legal Advice - The material provided on the StrataPress website is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and may not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided on this website, any hypertext links or other general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. These materials may have no evidentiary value and should be checked against official sources before they are used for professional or commercial purposes. Your use of these materials is at your own risk.

Privacy Guidelines for Strata Corporations and Strata Owners

Privacy Guidelines for Strata Corporations and Strata Owners

Many strata corporations are unaware of the requirements to adhere to the Personal Information Protection Act. As a strata owner, it’s important to be aware of your privacy rights and the privacy rights of your neighbours. This includes understanding when you can be photographed or videotaped, and when you can be asked for your personal information. Here are some privacy guidelines for strata corporations and strata owners.

1. What is a strata corporation and what are its responsibilities to its members and residents

A strata corporation is a legal entity created when a strata property is developed. It is responsible for the management and maintenance of the common areas and assets of the strata development, and for representing the interests of the strata owners. The strata corporation must comply with privacy laws, such as the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), and obtain consent from members before collecting, using or disclosing their personal information. In addition, the strata corporation must maintain adequate insurance coverage for the common areas and assets of the strata property.

2. The importance of privacy for strata corporations and their members

In today’s world, privacy is more important than ever. There are laws in place to protect individuals from having their personal information collected and used without their consent. These laws apply to strata corporations and their members.

Strata owners have a right to expect that their privacy will be respected. The Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) sets out rules for how businesses must collect, use and disclose personal information. consent. Strata corporations must ensure that they comply with PIPA when handling personal information about strata owners. This includes ensuring that personal information is only collected for legitimate purposes, and that it is used and disclosed in a way that is consistent with the strata owner’s expectations.

Failure to comply with PIPA can result in significant penalties, so it is important for strata corporations to make privacy a priority.

3. Privacy guidelines for strata corporations and their agents when it comes to collecting, using, and disclosing personal information

When collecting personal information, strata corporations and their agents must ensure that the information is necessary for the purposes of managing the property or providing services to residents. Personal information should only be collected from individuals who have consented to its collection. Strata corporations and their agents must also take reasonable steps to keep personal information accurate and up-to-date. Strata corporations must also take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify personal information that is no longer needed.

Disclosing personal information to third parties is only permitted in certain circumstances, such as when required by law or with the individual’s consent. When disclosing personal information to third parties, strata corporations must take reasonable steps to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, and is only disclosed for legitimate purposes.

4. How to protect the personal information of residents in a strata corporation

Strata corporations must take steps to protect the personal information of residents from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. There are several measures that a strata corporation can take to protect the privacy of residents, such as:

  • Restricting access to personal information to authorized staff or council members only
  • Securely storing personal information in a locked filing cabinet or server room
  • Shredding or destroying personal information when it is no longer needed
  • Creating and enforcing policies and procedures for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information
  • Training staff on privacy and security procedures

By taking these steps, strata corporations can help to ensure that the personal information of residents is protected.

5. Tips for strata corporations and their agents on how to keep personal information secure

As the world becomes increasingly digital, strata corporations and their agents must take care to protect the personal information of residents. One way to do this is to store data on secure servers. Information should only be accessed with the consent of the individual concerned, and all data should be encrypted to protect it from hackers. In addition, strata corporations and their agents should take care to protect online information. Computers should be password protected and kept in a secure location.

Any physical copies of personal information should be shredded or destroyed when no longer needed. By taking these simple steps, strata corporations can help to keep personal information safe and secure.

6. Resources for further reading on privacy and data protection

There are a number of excellent resources available for anyone interested in learning more about privacy and data protection. The Canadian Home Owners Association (CHOA) has published a series of privacy guidelines that provide a great overview of the issue. The BC Government’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner also has a number of helpful resources on their website, including the “Privacy Guidelines For Strata Corporations and Strata Agents’ publication. These guidelines will help strata corporations and strata agents in discharging their duties under the Strata Property Act (“SPA”) in a manner that respects the privacy of owners and tenants and promotes transparency in the operation of strata corporations. Finally, the Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA) has published a paper on “Privacy Guidelines for Strata Corporations and Strata Agents” which is definitely worth a read.

Not Legal Advice - The material provided on the StrataPress website is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and may not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided on this website, any hypertext links or other general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. These materials may have no evidentiary value and should be checked against official sources before they are used for professional or commercial purposes. Your use of these materials is at your own risk.