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24 May, 2024
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Should kindergartens allow audio recording on CCTV?

Commissioner weighs in on kindergarten CCTV debate


At entrances or exits of private kindergartens and parking areas, the installation and operation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) are allowed, but audio recording is not permitted under any circumstances, as this excessively intrudes on the privacy of the data subjects, clarifies the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, Irene Loizidou Nicolaides, in response to questions and complaints received by her office.

In her written statement, Mrs. Loizidou states that "on the one hand, kindergarten administrations are obliged to ensure the protection of their property, on the other hand, they have an obligation to safeguard the privacy of children, as well as that of the staff."

In this context, she reiterates that "the operation of CCTV is allowed at the entrance/exit of kindergartens and parking areas, while the operation of CCTV is not allowed in indoor areas, classrooms, common areas (corridors, kitchen), toilets/changing rooms, and playgrounds."

She notes that on a case-by-case basis and depending on the circumstances, the operation of CCTV outside the operational hours of the establishment could be allowed, provided that the privacy of any individual is not affected.

"Furthermore, personal behavior, personal contacts, and the efficiency of individuals cannot be monitored through such systems. Even if the consent of the employees has been obtained for the installation of CCTV in the playground and/or classrooms, this cannot be taken into account, as it cannot be considered that such consent was freely given, due to the power imbalance between the employer and the employees," states the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection.

She also emphasizes that "audio recording is not allowed under any circumstances, as this excessively intrudes on the privacy of the data subjects."

[With information sourced from CNA]

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