Processing video surveillance recordings


Data Privacy

March 5, 2024

The data protection watchdog has recently issued an opinion on the admissibility of the use of video
surveillance to assess performance of employees to determine their additional remuneration. The opinion
comes upon the request of a company which owns a chain of gas stations across the country.
According to the facts, the company was developing its own internal system based on pre-defined
criteria, the fulfilment of which will lead to the provision of bonuses to the employees. The goal of the
company was to secure objective monitoring of the performance of its employees instead of relying on
the subjective judgment of the managers.

The key arguments for the inadmissibility of such activities are:

» Gas stations are publicly accessible areas and unlimited number of different categories of data subjects will be affected but not only employees of the company (customers, visitors, incl. children).

» Article 107f (107и), para. 3, item 7 of the Labour Code allows employers to introduce monitoring systems (if necessary) subject to obtaining written consents of the concerned employees. According to the data protection watchdog, the expression “if necessary” implies that the employers’ objectives cannot be achieved by other means which is not the case at hand.

» Necessity to comply with the data minimization principle. The use of video surveillance for the purpose of monitoring how employees perform their work duties should be avoided, except in limited cases – when explicitly required by law or where high-risk production activities are performed (e.g., in pharmaceutical, chemical and nuclear power industries).

» Such video surveillance activities constitute a form of further processing of personal data and the criteria of Article 6, para. 4 of the GDPR for compatibility between the initial and the subsequent purpose are not in place, and at the same time it is not possible to obtain valid consent from the employees for such processing.

As a result, the data protection watchdog takes the view that the evaluation of the personal performance of employees is a further processing which is incompatible with the initial (security) purpose of the collection of the data and it is, therefore, inadmissible.