個人資料保護辦公室

Gabinete para a Protecção de Dados Pessoais

Office for Personal Data Protection

Complaint Case Notes
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No: 0141/2014/IP

Title: Surveillance cameras facing the external of the shop

Reason: Report

Brief:

    A citizen reported to the Office for Personal Data Protection (GPDP) that he found some surveillance cameras facing the exterior of a shop that captured the images of the passers-by.   

Analysis:

    After receiving the report, the GPDP investigated the case and found that the shop, as reported, named Company A.  Altogether there were three cameras installed by this shop, for security purposes, to capture images outside its place of business.  Under Article 4(1)(1) and 3(1) of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA or Law 8/2005), the data processing of Company A should be governed by this Law.  
  For security, Company A’s installation of CCTV surveillance system in its place of business is to protect its property and lawful interests, which is lawful and legitimate, and thereby achieved the  processing legitimacy as required by Article 6(5) of the PDPA. 
  Although these cameras capture images from the streets outside the shop, they were configured to fixed viewing angles and non-zoomed lenses which mainly focus on images relating to its place of business.    After being reminded by the GPDP, Company A has already adjusted the viewing angles so that only images limiting to the entrance of the shop were captured.  This adjustment prevented capturing images of the passers-by. 
  After adjusting the viewing angles, Company A expressed that since consistently there were scores of motorcycles parking outside, to keep people and property safe, especially in case of arson, it intended  to adjust the viewing angles of one of the cameras to cover that part of the road.  Considering its security and the narrowed viewing angles, as well as no overlapped images would be captured by the rest of the two cameras, the GPDP allowed it to adjust the viewing angles and capturing range to address its needs.  But the adjustment is based on the premise that the principle of proportionality should not be violated, given in Article 5 of the PDPA, i.e., viewing angles should be mainly confined to the place of business and necessary to ensure its security while only causing minimum intrusion on others.   
  In addition, it also displayed signs of CCTV in appropriate places to inform the passers-by, which is in compliance with Article 10(1) of the PDPA. 
  The captured images are stored in the loft of the shop, where unauthorized individuals are not freely accessible.  The storage system also has been configured where only authorized users can view and access the captured images.  This revealed no violations of the security requirements as laid down by Article 15 of the PDPA. 
  According to Article 21 of the same Law, Company A has already notified the GPDP of its CCTV surveillance system and the respective personal data processing by automatic means. 
  To sum up, no facts justified the violations of the PDPA by Company A.  

Result:

    After being reminded, Company A has already adjusted the viewing angles of the surveillance cameras and this case has been closed. 

Reference:
Please refer to Article 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 15 and 21 of the Personal Data Protection Act.

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