Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) in operation? Watch out! There are some action points to work on over the coming weeks and months in case of surveillance cameras

If you place cameras, you have certain obligations that you need to fulfil. Depending on the location of your cameras (e.g. a shop vs a company’s office) and the related purpose(s) (e.g. surveillance vs educational), different legal obligations may apply.

If you operate a surveillance camera system (i.e. any fixed, temporarily fixed or mobile observation system intended to prevent or detect offenses against persons or goods), then you must comply with the Act of 21 March 2007 governing the installation and use of surveillance cameras (the Camera Act) which has been recently revised. In this regard, there are at least 3 actions to undertake:

(1)    Since 25 May 2018: keep an internal record of surveillance camera activities

Pursuant to Articles 7 to 9 of the implementing Royal Decree of 8 May 2018, this record must contain certain information, such as an indication of the type of location of the surveillance cameras and the location where the images are processed.

(2)    Before 11 December 2018: adapt your pictograms where appropriate

You must inform people of CCTV presence. The implementing Royal Decree of 10 February 2008 describes the pictogram highlighting CCTV use and the information required, such as your contact details. Where appropriate, you must now add your telephone number, the contact details of your DPO and/or the website where data subjects can consult all information about the processing of these images.

(3)    Before 25 May 2020: update your existing notifications

Previously, you were required to notify your surveillance cameras to the former Belgian Privacy Commission. As from 25 May 2018, you must replace your existing notifications and file new ones to the police via the website within a two-year “grace” period.

More practical information can be found on the dedicated website of the Federal Public Service Interior

Failure to comply with the Camera Act can lead to fines of up to EUR 160,000.00. Additional sanctions could be sought under the GDPR since personal data are processed.

Last but not least, don’t forget that the use of CCTV at the workplace is governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement n° 68. In other words, when surveillance cameras fall within the scope of the Camera Act as well as the CBA n° 68 (e.g. cameras placed in a shop filming both employees and customers), you must comply with both regulations.

The Camera Act, the Royal Decrees of 10 February 2008 and 8 May 2018 and the CBA n° 68 can be found on: