Absence of the duty to inform when installing security cameras at work.

How can I record my employees?

On 18 May 2022, an individual filed a complaint with the Spanish Data Protection Agency against his employer. He installed video surveillance cameras in the workplace without previously informing him.

The processing of the complainant’s data was carried out by capturing images and sounds of him during his working day.

The employee became aware of this processing three years after starting his job at the company where he worked. It was while he was having a conversation with his employer who, via WhatsApp, informed the worker that he was listening to him through the security cameras.

How can I record my employees? The AEPD answers.

Image and voice are personal data.

The AEPD determined that a person’s physical image and voice are personal data, in accordance with art. 4.1 GDPR. Their protection is therefore the object of the GDPR.

Art. 4.2 GDPR provides a definition of the processing of personal data.

It is therefore appropriate to carry out an analysis of the possibility that the processing of these personal data (image and voice of the complainant who works in the company in question, in addition to the customers who come to the establishment of this company opened to the public) is in accordance with the provisions of the GDPR.

The Organic Law on Data Protection (LOPD) includes the cases in which the installation of video surveillance cameras is permitted:

Along with these cases, others are included, such as video surveillance… in which the lawfulness of the processing comes from the existence of a public interest, in the terms established in article 6.1.e) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

Article 22 of the LOPD itself states that the installation of security cameras will be supported when the purpose is to preserve the security of persons and property.

Principle of proportionality

Although it is true that art. 20.3 of Legislative Royal Decree 1/1995, of 24/03, which approves the Revised Text of the Workers’ Statute Law (LET) grants the employer the power to install security cameras in the workplace. The principle of proportionality must be respected.

In other words, the use of video cameras must be proportional to the intended purpose. Safety and the fulfilment of work obligations and duties must be ensured.


Right to privacy from the use of video surveillance and sound recording devices in the workplace.

Article 89 of the LOPD allows employers to install security cameras in the workplace to monitor their workers.

However, it adds an indispensable requirement for this:

Employers shall inform the workers or public employees and, where appropriate, their representatives, in advance, and in an express, clear and concise manner, about this measure“.

The same article also states about the recording of sounds through these security cameras:
The recording of sounds in the workplace shall only be permitted when the risks to the safety of installations, goods and persons arising from the activity carried out in the workplace are relevant”.

This will be possible as long as the principles of proportionality and minimum intervention, among others, are respected.

Penalty to the employer for not fulfilling its duty to inform its employees.

The complainant stated that its employer did not inform it of the installation of the video surveillance cameras, which were installed “for security purposes for the premises“.

For all these reasons, after an exhaustive study of this complaint and in accordance with the provisions of the Law, the AEPD has sanctioned the employer complained against to pay a fine of €5,000.

The reason of this fine is recording its employees without complying with the parameters established in the Law.

In addition, it has requested that the employer adapt its actions to the personal data protection regulations.

Auratech is at your disposal.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *