Drones and aerial imagery capture privacy notice

Our core data protection obligations and commitments are set out in Bradford Council's primary privacy notice.

This notice provides additional privacy information to describe how personal data captured by drone camera imagery within Bradford Council is used and protected. The Councils Planning Enforcement Team and Building Control have the benefit of using a drone (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - UAV) to help investigate breaches of planning and building control.

Bradford Council operates under the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Open Category regulations or Specific category regulations as appropriate.

All drone flights are given risk assessments and follow strict operations manual procedures, which have been approved as safe by the CAA.

The Council uses qualified unmanned aerial systems (UAS) pilots to fly drones. Each one has passed a theory assessment(s) with an organisation approved by the CAA. The operator has overall responsibility for making sure every flight takes place within the law and its amendments.

This applies to the use of UAVs on all Bradford Council owned sites as well as any Bradford Council related work with UAVs that is carried out on third party sites.

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

The Planning Enforcement Team and Building Control utilise UAVs to document a site at a specific time from the air, to provide a clear record of both the operational development and use of a site.

For sites where access is restricted

The UAV drones will be safely deployed near the site and can record the activities/operations being undertaken.

Drone imagery we collect and use

The information we collect will be the minimum we need to deliver our service.

Images and video recordings captured by drones are stored securely.

Any images or recordings not relevant to the purpose of the flight will be securely destroyed.

Images only are collected - we do not collect or store any personal information such as names, contact details or addresses.

How we use imagery from drones and aerial cameras 

We collect drone imagery for the following examples:

  • investigating alleged dangerous structures
  • aerial imagery for before and after infrastructure projects
  • safety at sports grounds
  • creating photo realistic 3D digital models, promotional videos
  • assist with identifying repairs to Council owned assets

We will also use imagery to help investigate Planning Enforcement and Building Control matters. The operation of drones in these circumstances, is for the purposes of viewing developments, building sites and for monitoring and investigation of possible or alleged breaches of planning and building control and/or regulations.

Where the usage of drones is classified as surveillance

  • Any surveillance by a public authority is governed by strict legislation; this is in the form of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 known as RIPA which ensures compliance with the ECHR 2000.
  • Local Authorities are further governed by new legislation with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
  • All Surveillance is further over seen by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner (OSC)
  • Any surveillance usage will be overt, and not covert.

Collateral intrusion or third-party information that is obtained but is not necessary will be immediately disregarded and removed from any investigation. Private information is very strictly controlled and is known as collateral intrusion or third-party information. Any such information that is obtained during the surveillance could be construed as being intrusive. Legislation strictly forbids any Local Authority from conducting intrusive surveillance.

Any surveillance breaches will be reported to the Office of Surveillance Commissioner and the authority granted will be reviewed and reconsidered.

In circumstances where the drone would be used covertly for the prevention and detection of offences that attract 6 months imprisonment or more, then authorisation under RIPA must be obtained before that surveillance can take place.

How long images will be kept

We will not retain any imagery collected any longer than necessary and will hold any personal information in line with Bradford Council’s retention schedule. At its expiry date the information will be reviewed, and only retained where there is an on-going requirement to retain for a statutory or legal purpose. Following this the images, including any personal information will be securely destroyed.

Reasons we can collect and use drone and aerial imagery

The lawful basis on which we will collect and use drone imagery is that

  • Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller

Who we will share drone imagery with

We may sometimes share the information that we have collected where it is necessary, lawful and fair to do so. We may share imagery captured by drones and SLR cameras for the following purposes:

  • Shared with partners where it is necessary for business purposes.
  • Shared publicly as part of promotional material – in this instance any personal identifiers, such as car registration numbers would be removed or obscured.

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing the drone imagery will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security incidents and we will notify you and the appropriate regulator of any incident where we are legally required to do so.

All drone operators will comply with the Civil Aviation Authority regulations:

Drone operators will be wearing high visibility jackets and will carry identity badges to show that they are from Bradford Council.

Rights for individuals under UK GDPR

What are your rights?

Please contact the Corporate Information Governance Team at dpo@bradford.gov.uk to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer at dpo@bradford.gov.uk or write to: Data Protection Officer, City Hall, Centenary Square, Bradford, BD1 1HY.

The UK GDPR also gives you the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office who are the supervisory authority responsible to regulate and monitor the legislative obligations within the UK and can be contacted on 03031 231113.

This page was last updated on :
Thu, Feb 15, 2024 at 02:21 PM

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