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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. They may also be installed to protect employees and visitors. You cannot use cameras to asses employee performance.
Conditions for CCTV monitoring
- 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.
- 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 facilites).
- You are not allowed to use the images to assess your employees’ work.
- You may not make audio recordings if you have cameras in place.
- If you apply CCTV monitoring for a longer period of time 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.
- In extreme cases, you may use a hidden camera (in Dutch), but this is strictly regulated. You must always conduct a DPIA.
You may not 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 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.