CCTV legal conditions



Who can install a CCTV security camera system and where?

The installation of video surveillance devices must always be governed by a criterion of proportionality with the problem to be corrected. Installing a video surveillance camera or CCTV is very delicate. The key to discern when it should be installed and when this resource is inadequate is "proportionality", clarify from the Ministry of Interior, the Catalan Authority for Damage Protection (APDCAT) and the Il·lustre Col·legi d'Advocats de Barcelona (ICAB) in catalona,Spain for example.

Only the security forces (National Police Corps, Civil Guard or local police) can place one of these devices on public roads. Santiago Farré, head of the legal advice of the APDCAT, clarifies that public institutions - such as town halls - can also install them in some cases, but only to regulate "traffic" in very specific situations.

The deputy general director of Interior explains that the police to record on public roads need a permit from the 'conselleria'. This will only be granted if the petition has a "favorable report" from the mixed commission for the control of video surveillance devices in Catalonia, which depends on the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC).

Mounting cameras arguing for reasons of "security" has an inevitable consequence: "You also record people," said Jordi Bacaria, president of the intellectual property and image rights section of ICAB. In doing so, the "privacy" of these citizens is invaded and to violate this right there must be a justification and, above all, it must be demonstrated that there are no other resources to protect a certain objective. "If any site can be secured by putting a security guard, for example, it must be done and forget about video surveillance," Bacaria explains.

In private enclosures

A private agency, such as a pharmacy, a large commercial warehouse or a bank, can mount video surveillance devices within its enclosures. But to do so they must meet two requirements, The first is that they must sign with signs that said establishment is controlled by CCTV security system and tjhat you are being recorded, it is understood that if the posters are visible and the customer enters, they are "accessing" to be recorded. The second is that they must have for the user who requests it all the information related to this system. They are conditions of the organic data protection law (LOPD) clarified in Royal Decree 1720/2007.

The citizen is obliged to be informed of who is responsible for these cameras, he can demand that those images in which he appears be deleted and even request a copy of the sequence in which he appears. To receive it, you must provide "a photograph", detail "the time slot in which you accessed this site" and pay "the costs" that will duplicate them. Failure to comply with any of these conditions by the owner of the cameras implies a breach of the LOPD, warn Farré and Bacaria.

In the case of the controversial camera installed inside a classroom of a Spanish institute by decision of its director, the Department of Education has vetoed its use precisely because "it was not proportional", defends Bacaria. And because, in addition, in this case the people recorded were minors, a "particularly vulnerable" population.

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