Posted on October 31, 2017 · Posted in News

A neighbour in a multi-apartment building has installed a video surveillance camera in the staircase without requiring and without the consent of other apartment owners. What to do in this situation? Is the neighbour’s behaviour lawful?

In accordance with Article 2, Paragraph 3 of the Personal Data Protection Law (hereinafter – The Data Law), personal data is any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. If video surveillance can identify a specific person, then processing of personal data is carried out within the meaning of Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the Data Law. According to Article 2, Paragraph 9 of the Data Law, a controller – a natural or legal person, a state or local government institution which determines the purposes and aids of processing of personal data, is responsible for the compliance of data processing (video surveillance) with the Data Law.

Paragraph 5 of Article 21 of the Data Law provides that prior to the processing of personal data processing, the controller shall register the processing of personal data with the Data State Inspectorate or assign a personal data protection specialist – if the controller carries out video surveillance while retaining personal data. In addition, the Data State Inspectorate informs that, regardless of whether it is necessary to perform a video surveillance registration in the Data State Inspectorate or not, the controller must perform video surveillance as processing of personal data in compliance with the requirements of the Data Law.

 The controller must process personal data with:

  • Article 7 of the Data Law provides that the processing of personal data is permitted only if the law does not provide otherwise and, if at least one of the conditions referred to in this Article is present (that is, if there is a legal basis);
  • Article 10, Paragraph one, Clause 2 of the Data Law – processing of personal data may be performed only in accordance with the intended purpose and to the extent necessary for it, ensuring compliance with other requirements specified in regulatory acts;
  • The controller is obligated to inform the data subjects about the processing of personal data by the persons whose personal data processing is carried out in the first part of Article 8 of the Data Law. (For example, a sign for video surveillance, including all information referred to in Article 8, Paragraph one of the Data Law – the controller’s name, address, purpose).

In addition to the above, the Data State Inspectorate informs that Article 16, Paragraph three of the Law on Apartment Property establishes that the decision of the Apartment Owners’ Association is binding on every owner of the apartment if the apartment owners who represent more than half of the apartments in the apartment house have voted “for“. Consequently, if the consent of the apartment owners is not obtained, such video surveillance violates the civil rights established in the Civil Law, then on the basis of Article 1, Paragraph one, and Article 23, Paragraph one of the Law on Civil Procedure, the co-owner (-s) have the right to apply for the court of Arbitration or to use mediation.

Video surveillance cameras can be recorded both in live mode (online mode) and video recordings, but these videos cannot be available to all residents. Only authorized persons, such as the owner of the apartment, representatives of the general meeting of apartment owners or the house manager, can access these records.

For further explanations see the DSI website, home section frequently asked questions and answers.