How is home security camera footage stored

Video surveillance by private persons

1. The data may only be used for the protection of people and property, not for other purposes (purpose limitation principle).


A retail store may not use security footage for marketing purposes.

2. The responsible person must use appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect the video images from any unauthorized editing (data security).


The stored data must be kept in a secure, locked room to which only authorized persons have the key.

If images are transmitted from the camera to the storage location by radio, the radio signal must be encrypted or other suitable measures must be taken to ensure that unauthorized persons cannot intercept the signal and view the images uncoded.

3. The number of people who have access to the video images (live or stored) must be kept as low as possible (data security and proportionality).


In a discotheque, only those responsible for security are allowed to have access to video data. The bar staff, on the other hand, are not to be granted access.

The screens of a video surveillance system must be set up in such a way that only authorized personnel have access. Publicly accessible screens are not permitted.

In addition, a distinction must be made as to whether the purpose pursued with the video surveillance requires live surveillance or whether it is sufficient if stored video data are evaluated in the event of an incident. If an evaluation is sufficient in the event of an incident, the images may not be viewed without a corresponding reason.


The video images of a parking garage recorded to prevent and punish property damage may only be viewed in the event of property damage. If no such has taken place, the stored images must be deleted unseen within a reasonable period of time (see section 5 below).

4. The recorded personal data may not be disclosed, unless the images are handed over to the law enforcement authorities for reporting the complaint, or in the cases provided or permitted by law, e. B. in the case of a request from a judge (earmarking principle).


The retail business may neither pass on nor sell the pictures taken to third parties.

The images from a surveillance camera may not be displayed on the Internet.

5. The video recordings must be deleted as quickly as possible. Property damage or personal injuries are usually detected immediately or within a few hours. A period of 24 hours appears to be sufficient in view of the purpose pursued, provided no significant events are discovered within this period.

If there are objective and important reasons for a longer retention period, this can be extended appropriately. In addition, the deadline for video surveillance in private rooms that are not publicly accessible can be longer (principle of proportionality).


In the event of a holiday absence, recordings can exceptionally be kept longer, but must be deleted as soon as possible after the person responsible has returned.

The longer the images are kept, the higher the data security requirements. If the retention period is to be extended, this must be taken into account through the additional use of data protection-friendly technologies (e.g. scrambling) and through the encryption of the stored image data.

6. Those responsible for video surveillance must provide all persons who enter the recording area with information on the video images that affect them on request. You can find further information here.


Status: April 2014