Friday 11 January 2019

The new restrictions on labor video surveillance

Video surveillance systems can violate employees' rights to privacy and data protection.

Nowadays, the best ally for the security of companies, is undoubtedly video surveillance (obtaining images and sounds in a specific space, whose captured elements can be recorded, reproduced and visualized), since it allows the control of all the areas of a company, mainly when there is nobody. However, attention must be paid when it is used to monitor the people who work there, so as not to infringe on their rights of privacy and data protection.

The new law on the Protection of Personal Data and the guarantee of digital rights (LOPDGDD) sanctions the handling of personal data, for purposes that are not compatible with those for which they have been collected. Thus, it is important that the video surveillance system is adjusted to this purpose, when it is assigned to labor control. Only the space including the work station and certain common spaces can be recorded, and in no case will the installation of audiovisual control be allowed in areas of recreation or relaxation, changing rooms, dining rooms and toilets, by way of not incurring in violation of the rights of honor, privacy and image of the workers.

This type of recording has to comply with the principles of suitability, necessity and proportionality mentioned in the doctrine of the Constitutional Court. In other words, the surveillance system by video camera can only be used for a purpose that effectively justifies resorting to such methods and all personal data, object of treatment, must be adequate and limited to the purposes for which they were collected.

So, the covert video surveillance of a worker in his workplace is considered an intrusion in his private life, and therefore the use of hidden cameras should be restricted to the maximum, confining its use to contexts of exceptionality and seriousness.

In recent years, efforts are being made to guarantee both the probative effectiveness of the images and the fundamental rights of employees.

Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Detective
of Oliver Detectives


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