Residents' group in Spain slapped with fine for incorrect siting of security cameras

Residents' group in Spain slapped with fine for incorrect siting of security cameras

Spanish data protection authorities have warned that this type of surveillance device must always be installed strictly according to the current regulations

Susana Zamora


Tuesday, 9 July 2024, 19:27

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A Spanish residential community has been heavily fined after installing CCTV cameras directed towards a public road that lacked the proper signage and the footage could be accessed by unauthorised personnel.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD), who fined this community 1,000 euros, said the video surveillance system obtained images that exceeded the permitted limits (violated the rights of third parties and the public space) and was not properly signposted. "The purpose of this type of device should be the security of the property and its inhabitants, avoiding the infringement of the rights of third parties who may be intimidated by them," the AEPD said.

Following the complaint lodged, the owners' association, whose responsibility was an apart hotel, pointed out to the AEPD the community itself was responsible for the video surveillance system and the cameras were installed once they had been authorised at an ordinary general meeting of owners, in accordance with the regulations. In its written statement, it pointed out the number of devices and showed their photographs, indicating the recordings were kept for 30 days, and attached images of the signs warning of the surveillance area. "We declare that the cameras installed, as can be seen, do not record or allow a view of the communal swimming pool," according to the resolution.

However, the public body determined the use of this video surveillance system was not installed according to current regulations set out, as it affected third parties and was not correctly signposted.

Communities are responsible for ensuring systems installed comply with current legislation. Devices must be installed with mandatory informative signs, indicating the purposes and the person responsible for the processing of personal data. "In any case, the cameras must be oriented towards the private space, avoiding adjacent neighbours, as well as controlling transit areas," the AEPD said.

Cameras cannot be used to obtain images of public spaces. "It should be remembered that even in the case of a simulated camera, it should preferably be oriented towards a private space, given that it is considered that this type of device can affect the privacy of third parties."

The AEPD imposed a fine of 1,000 euros, although according to the director of the AEPD, Mar España, "the respondent has proceeded to pay the fine to the amount of 600 euros, making use of the two reductions provided for in the agreement, which implies acknowledgement of responsibility".

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