Video cameras have always been a sensitive matter.
Many important cases related to privacy and data protection involved them for obvious reasons: they are ubiquitous, be them visible or hidden, in public or private places. Recently, the topic has again been brought to light thanks to the driving-monitoring cameras incorporated in cars.
These cameras play a relevant role in increasing safety: they monitor a driver and send a warning when he or she is not engaged. However, the technology is shifting from close-loop system to real-time analysis of data. The change of paradigm has been seen as problematic: unclear storage of footage and real-time analysis do not just pose issues for drivers, but can also lead to a loss of control of the data flow and, in more extreme cases, result in data breaches. Companies should proactively find ways to mitigate the risks such as preparing clear internal polices, impact assessments and fostering a culture of data protection.
This has become particularly important as data protection authorities in Europe are focusing more and more on video cameras: just this week the Estonian Data Protection Authority has ordered a school to remove cameras from classrooms and to place warning signs where cameras are lawfully installed.