(Image: The Straits Times)
Q: My neighbour installed a CCTV outside his home and I'm concerned that it's intruding on my privacy since I live next door. Is this legal?
A: HDB residents who intend to install CCTVs outside their flats must first obtain approval from HDB. HDB will only grant such approval if the homeowner can show that he or she is facing possible harassment or threats to security. Even in such cases, HDB will only allow the CCTVs to be installed for a fixed period of time. Once the harassment or threat ends, the homeowner will have to remove the CCTVs.
If you live in a condominium or a strata property, you may wish to check the MCST rules or by-laws to determine if they permit the installation of CCTVs in common areas.
There are no laws preventing owners of landed homes from installing CCTVs on their premises. If you live in a landed residence, you essentially own the land on which the residence sits, and are free to install CCTVs on any part of your compound.
Singapore currently has no privacy laws. If you feel that a neighbour’s CCTV is directly recording your actions and causing you discomfort, you may consider inviting your neighbour to mediation or filing a court complaint under the Community Disputes Resolution Act (CDRA).
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Fong Wei Li practises litigation and arbitration at KEL LLC – a boutique Singapore law firm specialising in civil and commercial law. He acts for corporate and individual clients in managing and resolving disputes across a wide range of issues and industries. Wei Li has a particular interest and expertise in Internet and social-media law. He provides strategic counsel and representation to businesses and high-profile individuals in a spectrum of media-related issues such as reputation management, appropriate-use policies, privacy and digital marketing. In addition to his practice as a lawyer, Wei Li teaches as an adjunct faculty at the Singapore Management University’s School of Law.
Disclaimer: This article provides a general guide to the subject matter and should not be treated as professional legal advice. If you require specific legal advice, you are encouraged to consult a qualified legal professional to obtain the same.