In the Netherlands, employers have the right to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the workplace to prevent theft or damage to property. CCTV cameras may also be installed to protect employees and visitors. You may only install cameras if you meet the requirements set out in the AVG privacy act. You cannot use cameras to asses employee performance.
Conditions for CCTV monitoring
Before you start with CCTV monitoring, you must meet these requirements:
- You must make sure there is no other option that has less impact on privacy.
- You must be able to demonstrate it is necessary to run your business, for example to prevent theft.
- You must make an assessment on privacy issues, weighing your interests against the interests and rights of your employees.
- If your company has a works council, you must obtain their consent.
- Impact on privacy must be as minimal as possible (you may not put up cameras in changing or toilet facilities).
- You are not allowed to use the images to assess your employees’ work.
- You cannot make audio recordings if you have cameras in place.
- If you apply CCTV monitoring for a longer period of time or in more than one place, you have to conduct a data protection impact assessment (DPIA).
- You must clearly indicate, with prominently placed signs for example, that CCTV cameras are in use and for what purpose.
- Your employees may view the camera images and object.
- In extreme cases, such as theft or fraud, you may use a hidden camera (in Dutch), but this is strictly regulated. You must always conduct a DPIA.
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 (in Dutch).
You cannot keep camera images longer than is necessary. The guideline for 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 resolved.
Reporting CCTV monitoring
You have 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 cannot install cameras at locations where they violate the customer’s privacy, for example in fitting cubicles.