How Facewatch complies with the DPA

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK supervisory authority for processing personal data under the Data Protection Act and UKGDPR. The ICO has closed a formal inspection of Facewatch. The ICO concluded that no regulatory action is required. The ICO “are satisfied the company has a legitimate purpose for using people’s information for the detection and prevention of crime.”

The Office of the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner (OSBCC) is the UK supervisory authority for biometric processing and CCTV cameras. The OSBCC has awarded Facewatch certification of compliance with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice for our use of live facial recognition.

cctv camera

Our Role

We have a database of Subjects of Interest of which we are the Data Controller. We create personalised alerts for every one of our customer’s properties individually, so that they don’t have to worry about the responsibility of taking the sharing decision or processing the facial recognition data.

Above all we carefully comply with the 6 guiding Principles set out in Article 5 of the DPA which in summary are:

Personal data shall be:

  1. processed lawfully, fairly and transparently;
  2. collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;
  3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
  4. accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
  5. kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed;
  6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

Over and above these Principles, because we are processing Special Category Data (Biometric Data which includes Facial Recognition algorithms), with our national footprint and expertise we are one of the very few organisations globally that can comply with the significant additional hurdles, including the Substantial Public Interest test, set for processing this data.

Our qualified staff and highly secure systems and processes back up our promise to ensure our compliance with the 6 principles so that you don’t need to worry.

Our Partners

We work with businesses across the country and have had over 12 years of experience creating the relationships and our reputation for honesty and integrity.

We only allow installation of our product using equipment that we have tested and vetted for reliability and security to ensure that you, our customers, have the best experience.

Our partners

What we ask of our customers

What We Ask Of Our Customers

We will ensure that once you have input your data to our system we will secure it and look after it in accordance with all legislation. In return we ask you to ensure that:

  • your business is appropriately registered with the ICO
  • you sign and adhere to our Information Sharing Agreement (ISA) which sets out our respective responsibilities whereby you are acting as a data controller when inputting and using your data and we are acting as data controllers for the different services available in the system
  • you display our compliant signage when the product is installed
  • you ensure staff using the system on your behalf follow the common-sense rules set out in our User Terms of Use and user training which they accept when registering.

If you have any questions relating to data protection please do not hesitate to contact our Data Protection Officer or his team by emailing: [email protected].

Further Reading
Facewatch Privacy Notice
Data Protection Act 2018
ICO Guidance

facial detection

Why choose Facewatch?

Facewatch is the trusted name in retail crime prevention, using facial recognition to proactively protect your staff, customers and stock.


    Our customers include many of the largest retail names in the UK as shown on the home page of our website


    We take care of all the data and facial recognition processing with state of the art algorithms and audit processes to ensure full compliance with the Data Protection Act & UKGDPR


    Our system is designed for maximum security and with minimal personal data

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