In recent decades, the installation of video cameras at workplaces has increased considerably. This technology is being used increasingly in publicly accessible workplaces, such as shopping centers, as well as in places that are restricted to certain people, for example, schools or hospitals.

Purpose of monitoring

Employers are, in principle, allowed to design and apply a video monitoring policy, if it serves a legitimate aim. Such legitimate aims could be, for example, the protection of children at a kindergarten or school or the protection of an employer’s property against potential thefts. Video cameras, however, should not be located in employees’ offices or places of a very private nature, for example, in bathrooms. Their location should be limited to entrances, exits, hallways and other similar places.

Informed monitoring

Remember that your employer is obliged to inform you about the monitoring policy and that you are also entitled to access personal data about you that has been collected during the monitoring process. In exceptional cases, however, the disclosure of such information and your consent may not be mandatory, as your knowledge about being monitored may complicate the achievement of a legitimate aim.

example If an employer suspects that somebody is disclosing data of a confidential nature, such as commercial secrets to another company or stealing a company’s inventory, the covert monitoring of suspected employees for a limited time may be the most appropriate means for achieving this aim.

What human rights violation may there be?

Video surveillance of you as an employee at your workplace intrudes into your privacy. Your conduct is being recorded during this process, and the documentation of it may be retained and used for different purposes. However, only unlawful interference with your right to control the use of your data will result in a violation of your human right to private life.

Has the video monitoring been conducted lawfully?

To evaluate whether the video monitoring has been conducted lawfully and whether your privacy has been sufficiently respected, see the questions below. If, in your situation, your answer to one of these questions is negative, your privacy may have been violated. In such a case, you have the right to complain. Read more about how to complain.


Last updated 08/06/2019