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Can the street be recorded with a camera placed in a private home or community of neighbours?

The placement of cameras inside a home or private address is not subject to the regulation of the data protection law (although there are exceptions, such as the installation of hidden cameras in the bathroom) since it is understood that it is carried out for personal or household purposes.

However, when it comes to recording images of other people (for instance when a camera is placed pointing towards a door but still recording part of the street), it is necessary to comply with a series of obligations imposed by current regulations:

  • It is necessary to make a record of treatment activities of the data.

  • Also to place posters of the video-monitored area in a visible place, in which the person in charge or in charge of the treatment informs of the ways to exercise the rights of access, rectification, deletion, limitation of data treatment, portability and opposition.

  • It is mandatory to guarantee that the access to recorded images will be limited to the person responsible.

  • In the event that the connection to the images is made through the internet, appropriate security measures must be established (for example, restricting access by username and password).

  • It has to be ensured that the place where the recording system is installed is only accessible to authorized personnel,

  • On the other hand, it is necessary to comply with the data conservation periods (obligation to save the images for one month).

If the stipulations of the data protection law on the installation of video surveillance cameras are not complied with, we risk a financial penalty. The fines for surveillance cameras depend on the number of cameras placed, the number of people affected, the duration of the violation or the use made of the images, among other factors.

Normally the installation of video surveillance cameras in the street corresponds solely and exclusively to Spanish Law Enforcement in the fulfillment of security functions. Both the Organic Law on Data Protection and Guarantee of Digital Rights (LOPDGDD) and the Private Security Law coincide in this regard. Specifically, the regulations on private security affirms the following in article 42:

Cameras or video cameras may not be used for private security purposes to take images and sounds of roads and public spaces or of public access except in the cases and under the terms and conditions provided in its specific regulations, prior administrative authorization by the competent body each case.

Likewise, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD) has also manifested itself in this regard in its resolution R / 00818/2012, stating that "the processing of images in public places can only be carried out by the Security Forces and Corps of the State, unless there is an administrative authorization".

Therefore, although the Spanish Law only allows security forces to put surveillance cameras on the street, it also leaves a door open for companies or individuals to do so in certain cases. Neverthless we do not recommend to assume the risk of sanctions and we strongly advice those who are thinking of installing a surveillance camera to contact us or Spanish Law Enforcement in relation with any security issues you may have.

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