Weaponising GDPR – AKA Fixing The Neighbours

By now we have lived with GDPR for 2 years and we have all realised what a ball ache it can be when people want to get funny with it, and recently I learnt it applies to domestic CCTV installations too after researching my obligations when installing my own CCTV, time to have some fun…

For several months now on a fairly regular basis I keep getting harassed by my parent’s neighbours when I go to visit, they clearly have a bee in the bonnet about something or simply do not have enough to keep them busy, idle hands and all that. It all started during the lockdown, both my parents have autoimmune issues and hence it would be ill-advised for them to do their own shopping, so helping out I delivered a box of groceries to their doorstep. Suddenly their curtain-twitching, nosey neighbour came raging out of her house shouting at me that I was a disgrace and so on and so forth, without even having any context about what was going on. Like a normal human being, I requested that she stopped shouting at me and came a little closer (but still a reasonable distance) so we could discuss the matter, however, at this point, she ran off back into her house like a coward whilst shouting that she was calling the police.

Anyway, the madness continued after lockdown, one night my parents called me at 3 am saying she was out in the street shouting at another neighbour who had come home from work late, on another occasion we were sat in my parents garden playing with the dog and as dogs do when they are excited he barked a few times, we were only there a short while and I am pretty sure it wasn’t too much of a problem overall, but she seemed to take great offence shouting over the fence “shut that fucking dog up”. With these incidents and a good many others as you can imagine my parents are feeling quite harassed by their neighbour’s behaviour.

I also noticed during our visits that their lovely CCTV installation had multiple cameras that point over the boundary of their property, in fact, the PTZ camera on top of their garage sometimes rotated around to look into my parents rear garden, quite annoying and obviously an invasion of our privacy. At this point, I wanted to have a pop back, but I don’t stoop to the levels of shouting at people in the street, or empty threats, so I started thinking about suitable attack methods to deal with my privacy concerns and hopefully piss them off a bit.

First off, could we just WiFi de-auth their cameras? Yes, I am sure this would work, but it’s also probably a bit illegal and I don’t really want to go down that route, I’d much prefer to keep my hands clean whilst messing around with them. So I started thinking about more creative ways to deal with them where I would hold the higher ground, then it sprung into my mind, “DEATH BY SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST”!

I quite liked this idea, it was a clean way to try and deal with the problem, some key features I liked about this approach include…

  • I get to send them a reasonably firm letter asking for my data;
  • It’s gonna take them hours to scrub through all their CCTV footage and extract all the clips with me in them, for all I know they might hoard months of the stuff;
  • They have to watch CCTV of me, probably drinking beer in my parents garden and relaxing, they already seem to hate me so being forced to watch me is probably not high on their todo list;
  • They had a finite period (28 days) to get this done;
  • They’d have to tell me for which purpose they had my data, who they might share it with, and other information like how long they retain it for.
  • If it doesn’t work the first time providing their cameras remain in situ then it can be repeated!

My hope is this will…

  • Let me know the limits of their CCTV from the clips they send me, and therefore I can make a reasonable request that they stop filming my parents property.
  • It will cause them a significant amount of effort, hopefully enough that they will change their behaviour and stop being such fools in the future and leave us to get on with our day to day activities in peace without harassment.

Anyway, I have composed a Subject Access Request letter and it is going in the post tomorrow morning via recorded delivery. Let’s see what we get back (if anything) and see if they have anything to say about it. Keep watching for Part 2!

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