Watch out for CCTV
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A few years ago, an unfortunate fellow by the name of Ryneš had suffered several attacks on his home and family, in the Czech Republic. His windows had been smashed. Ryneš installed CCTV cameras recording on a loop that viewed the approach and entrance to his front door, and the adjacent sidewalk. When another attack occurred, the recording was used to help police identify the attackers. One of them then petitioned the court essentially claiming that the recording was a breach of the Data Protection Directive. The court agreed, Ryneš appealed, and the higher court sent the question to the Court of Justice. In its 2014 ruling, the CoJ found that constant CCTV recording of a public place, the sidewalk, was 'automatic processing of personal data' (para 25 of the Directive) and was not purely 'personal and household' processing (para 33; GDPR has the same exemption of (Article 2(2)c)).
This means that CCTV recording a public space needs careful consideration, and must be analyzed for GDPR compliance. Given that CCTV will often capture a lot of data about many data subjects, it may require a Data Protection Impact Assessment too. In a DPIA the purpose and context of the CCTV will be important. What is the data collected for? And how is it used? These issues are increasingly being scrutinized as biometrics and other identification paradigms are cross-referenced with CCTV data in the public domain; Moscow police run facial recognition on the feed of 5,000 cameras, presumably to catch wanted criminals, with good results (from a law enforcement perspective) and tests by police in the UK and Germany have likewise been effective, moving ahead of the now nearly trite 'automatic number plate recognition' used in car parks and police cars.
Likewise, the ubiquity of cameras in smartphones and other devices, and the pooling of their data in an array of industries, often with data processing by artificial intelligence, lends new complexity to CCTV precedent, making this a particularly challenging, interesting and dynamic space. It is doubly complex when dealing with employee monitoring, but we'll leave that to another time…
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