Video surveillance at home, the rules of the Guarantor to use it correctly

SmartWorld team

The issue of video surveillance in the house. The Authority has established a series of central points that update or confirm the current legislation. The processing of personal data with the use of cameras installed in one’s home for exclusively personal control and security purposes is among those excluded from the scope of the Regulation. But the employees or collaborators present must in any case be informed by the employer.

In all cases it is required to avoid the monitoring of environments that damage the dignity of the person, protect the data acquired through the smart cams with suitable security measures, in particular if connected to the Internet. But let’s look at all the news.

Home video surveillance, what are the rules

As specified by the Privacy Guarantor, the installation of image detection systems must take place in compliance with the regulations on personal data protection. But also of the other provisions of the applicable legal system. To be clear, these are the rules in force on the civil and criminal law on the subject of illegal interference in private life or on the remote control of workers.

The Authority also underlines that the video surveillance activity must be carried out in compliance with the principle of data minimization regarding the choice of shooting mode and location and management of the various stages of treatment. In any case, the data processed must be relevant and must not exceed the aims pursued.

In this regard, the European Data Protection Committee has adopted the 3/2019 Guidelines on the processing of personal data through video devices, providing indications on the application of the Regulation in relation to the processing of personal dataeven with video surveillance.

From authorization to communication on video surveillance

From a procedural point of view, authorization by the Privacy Guarantor is not required for install a video surveillance system. Rather, it is up to the data controller to assess the lawfulness and proportionality of the processing, taking into account the context and purposes of the processing, as well as the risk for the rights and freedoms of natural persons.

The data controller – specifies the Guarantor himself – must assess whether the conditions for carrying out one exist data protection impact assessment before starting treatment. But beware, the interested parties must always be informed that they are passing through or accessing a video monitored area, even if the person processing the data is a private subject.

To communicate it, a simple sign is also sufficient, which must contain information on the data controller and the purpose pursued. The information must be placed before entering the supervised area and the precise location of the camera does not need to be disclosed, as long as the areas subject to surveillance are not clear and the context of surveillance is equally clear.

The issue of retention times for recorded images

As for the conservation of images registered, the time limit is what is necessary for the purposes for which they are acquired. As the Privacy Guarantor points out, it is up to the data controller to identify the timing, taking into account the context and purposes of the processing, as well as the risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals. The security and protection of assets are considered legitimate purposes of video surveillance. But you can spot any damage within a day or two.

Taking into account the principles of data minimization and retention limitation, personal data should be canceled after a few days, preferably through automatic mechanisms. The longer the envisaged retention period – the Authority therefore reiterates – the more reasoned must be the analysis referring to the legitimacy of the purpose and the need for conservation. In some cases it is possible to extend the retention times of images, for example following a specific request from the judicial authority.

How video surveillance works in an apartment building

Then there is the particular case of video surveillance in a condominium on which the Privacy Guarantor has already expressed. As established by the Authority, it is essential that the installation take place after a condominium meeting with the consent of the majority of thousandths of those present. Then the cameras must be marked with special signs and the recordings kept for a limited period. In the condominium area, the Guarantor considers it appropriate to hypothesize a retention period of the images of up to 7 days.