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In the Netherlands, employers have the right to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the workplace to prevent theft or damage to property. You must however carry out a privacy test to assess your interests against the interests and rights of your employees. If your company has a works council, you must obtain their consent.
You must also clearly indicate, with prominently placed signs for example, that CCTV cameras are in use. In extreme cases, you may use a hidden camera, but this is strictly regulated. Please contact the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit persoongegevens, in Dutch) if you want more information on the use of CCTV cameras in the workplace.
The maximum retention period for camera images is 4 weeks. If there were no incidents during this period, you must delete the images. However, if a security camera has recorded a particular incident, you may retain the recording long enough for the incident to be investigated.
Reporting CCTV monitoring
You are obliged to notify the Dutch Data Protection Authority (in Dutch) about your having installed CCTV cameras for protecting persons, buildings, sites, objects or production processes. However, if the cameras are clearly visible, in most cases you are exempt from this obligation.
CCTV monitoring in and around shops
As a shopkeeper, you may install CCTV cameras in and around your shop. However, you must indicate clearly to customers and employees that CCTV cameras are in use. You may not install cameras at locations where they violate the customer’s privacy, for example in fitting cubicles.