Nepal DAOs told to implement CCTV operation code

The Ministry of Home Affairs in Nepal has written to all 75 District Administration Offices (DAOs), asking them to implement the CCTV Camera Installation and Operation Procedure recently approved by the government. All DAOs were designated as implementing agency of the procedure.

The MoHA informed that the new law was introduced to regulate the use of CCTV camera for systematic use of security devices. Not only the security agencies, many businesses and private houses have also been using CCTV cameras for security purposes. “The law is expected to prevent misuse of surveillance cameras installed in retail shops, hotels and public places,” reads the procedure.

The surveillance video system has also been installed in security sensitive areas, highways, corporations, commercial hubs and private houses. The procedure has classified the use of surveillance camera into three groups public security purpose, commercial security purpose and private security purpose. It is mandatory for all to fully comply with Right to Privacy of a person or organisation while installing and using CCTV cameras. No government agency, commercial house and individual is allowed to install CCTV camera without prior approval of the concerned agency.

Government agencies need to take permission from the MoFA for its installation while commercial buildings and individual houses have to submit an application to the concerned DAOs for approval to use CCTV cameras. “The law will help prevent the misuse of surveillance cameras. Its footage needs to be kept strictly confidential unless demanded by police for crime investigation,” reads the procedure. The footage should be stored for at least three months from the date of visualisation. The procedure also prohibits use of CCTV cameras to invade privacy of a person and it is not allowed to be installed in washrooms, changing rooms and hotel bedrooms.