The number of surveillance gadgets on the streets is at an all time high.

Users of surveillance gadgets such as drones, dash-cams and GoPros could find themselves on the wrong side of the law if they fail to use their new festive presents properly.

Just because you`re using these for domestic purposes, and they`re a gift, doesn’t mean that you can`t fall foul of the law.

Drones, for example, can’t be flown in built-up areas or within 50 metres of people you don’t have control over. They have also been banned from certain parks including all those across London.

At the moment, there is nothing to stop you going and buying a drone and taking it out flying, as long as the drone weighs less than 20kg and you are not using it for commercial reasons.

However, you must avoid flying it within 150 metres of a congested area.

And it always has to stay in sight, which means it can’t go above 400ft in altitude or further than 500 metres horizontally.

People also need to think carefully about sharing images or recordings that have been captured using a drone on social media, as these can quickly go from being private to public.

As for GoPros, the law in Britain states that a camera can be attached to a helmet using a bracket but cannot be secured by drilling holes in the shell, as that compromises the integrity of the head gear.

And it`s important to remember that a camera could become a dangerous projectile if it became detached at high speed.

Dash Cams are an equally popular surveillance gift this year, and so long as your camera does not block your view of the road, then it is legal to have it installed in your car.

Again there is an issue with privacy so in some circumstances the use of Dash Cams can ultimately breach the Data Protection Act.

However, there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy” on public roads, and footage that shows how someone drives on the road could be of public interest in the event of an accident.

And if you`re thinking of installing CCTV, remember that if you have a camera which is pointed directly at another person’s property or it’s suspected that it can capture part or all of a neighbour’s property, they might have a case to take action against you under legislation covered by the Data Protection Act or Human Rights Act.

They could also be sufficient grounds to say that they have had their privacy violated and that your CCTV system is tantamount to harassment and even voyeurism.

With all new gadgets and technology, provided you use it correctly then you should be able to enjoy your gift with no questions asked. You should always do your research though before installing such gadgets and not simply rely on the user guide received by the manufacturer. You are ultimately responsible for its use and should you fall foul of any law then any recourse will be against you not the manufacturer.

If you have faced any issues with surveillance gadgets and would like to speak a member of our Dispute Resolution & Litigation team, call us on 0161 930 5151 or e-mail

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