More surveillance to video surveillance systems

According to the Spanish Data Protection Agency, the number of video surveillance systems registered in the General Register of Data Protection has been increased in 10.000 registries, from 5.000 to 15.000, during the last year. The huge increase in the camera’s number, the lack of regulation of this subject, and the technical difficulties to apply the Data Protection Spanish Law to these security systems, has given rise to the publication of a guide by the Spanish Data Protection Agency. In this guide these kinds of files are deeply analyzed and it also established the guidelines to manage this data processing.

The Guide makes an important effort to define the Data Protection Law’s application to image’s processing and establishes that the current principles in data protection’s subject must be applied to camera’s using, and to any technical means which captures, registers, conserves or stores images of natural persons identified or identifiable, whether it is used with surveillance aims, controlling the personnel or any other purpose.

Although we recommend the Guide’s reading, we bring forward the Agency’s proposals to process and capture the images:

  • It must be observed the proportionality between the purpose and the data’s capturing way.
  • It must inform about images capturing or recording (the instruction 1/2006 attaches an informative sign’s model and a the informative clause to give to the right’s holder when he ask for it)
  • The video surveillance systems are just admitted when it would not be a less intrusive means.
  • The cameras installed in private sphere must not capture images from public sphere.
  • It is possible to capture limited images from public sphere when it would be unavoidable to surveillance’s purpose because of its location, or essential to this purpose.
  • In any case, the video surveillance system must respect the human rights and the law.
  • The images will be conserved during the essential period to its capture’s purpose (In any case, the 1/2006 Instruction establishes a one month maximum term, and in case of the images have been captured to other purposes, it will be regulated by its specific regulation).

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