Broadcasting, Internet, Camera Guidelines

Archdiocese of Tuam

Interim Guidelines for Parishes Broadcasting on the Internet and/or using CCTV

Web Broadcasting

  • Cameras should be installed with due care and respect for church buildings. They should not be permanent fixtures; they should be easily removable without any impact on the building.
  • Cameras should only be switched on for the duration of Mass/Liturgy and switched off at the end.  There should be no live streaming of Churches when there is no Mass or Liturgy taking place.
  • There are a number of Data Protection issues that must be met in relation to broadcasting on the internet.
    • Recording people via a web camera and the subsequent displaying of such images over the internet is regarded as the processing of personal data and one of the key provisions regarding the processing of such data is that it must be     done with the consent or knowledge of the individuals concerned.
    • Camera shots (images) of the congregation should be wide shots – minimising the possibility of easily identifying individuals with close up shots.
    • Signs should be placed at a range of entrances to the church and in other prominent locations informing people that web cameras are in operation.
    • Parish workers and members of the clergy should sign forms consenting to their image being used for web broadcasting during the course of their regular duties. Copies of consent forms should be kept on parish records.
    • In the case of children who may be visible on the sanctuary (eg Altar Servers) signed parental/guardian consent forms are required.
    • During any broadcast it should be possible to stop transmission, if necessary, by quickly accessing the control panel of the system. If this cannot be done by the priest from near the altar, someone should be delegated to break transmission if needed.


  • It is possible that cameras can have a dual function – acting as security or CCTV systems as well as providing internet webcast.
  • If CCTV cameras are in place it is important to have separate signs informing parishioners and the public this is the case.
  • All uses of CCTV must be proportionate and for a specific purpose.  As CCTV infringes the privacy of the persons captured in the images there must be a genuine reason for installing such a system.  If installing such a system it is required that the purpose for its use is displayed in a prominent position.  This would normally be at the entrance.
  • The images captured should be retained for a maximum of 28 days, except where the image identifies an issue and is retained specifically in the context of an investigation of that issue.
  • Recordings should be stored in a secure environment. Access to recordings should be restricted to persons nominated by the parish and only on a need to know basis. A record should be kept of all who access such recordings.