Certain legal provisions in the Criminal Procedure Law and in the Investigatory Operations Law empower public authorities to covertly monitor private places using video and audio techniques.

Video and audio monitoring in private places can be performed either in the form of:

Special investigative actions

During special investigative actions, public authorities can apply video and audio monitoring in private places in the course of criminal proceedings if:

  • there are reasonable grounds to believe that these recordings could contain needed evidence, and
  • only if there are no alternative means for obtaining the evidence

These actions are carried out without the knowledge of the persons concerned and must be sanctioned by the investigative judge.

Operational actions

During operational actions, video monitoring of a private place can be performed if:

  • there is well-founded information about the particular persons’ connection to a crime, or
  • if there are threats to important interests of the State, for example, to state security

Video monitoring is performed without the knowledge of the persons concerned.

What human rights violation may there be?

Video and audio monitoring carried out by public authorities constitutes an interference with your right to private life, namely, as it records your image and voice. Such permanent records reveal not only your identity but also the content of your conversations and activities that you have performed. However, only unlawful intrusion will result in a violation of your human right to private life.

Was the action carried out lawfully?

To evaluate whether an investigative or operational action against you was carried out 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.

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Last updated 22/03/2024