On 8 March 2018, the Parliament adopted the new law on surveillance cameras, replacing the law of 2007. The primary goal is to create a more adequate legal framework for the use of surveillance cameras. Whilst the law has not been published in the official journal yet, it is scheduled to enter into force on 25 May 2018.

The use of surveillance cameras by police or intelligence services will fall under the respective laws regulation them. Use of surveillance cameras governed by specific legislation (such as surveillance at the workplace) remains excluded from the new law.

The camera law of 2018 will thus regulate the use by other public authorities (such as the communities and cities) and by private individuals or entities. If surveillance cameras cover different needs (other than surveillance), the camera law prevails in case of a conflict of law.

Furthermore, use of surveillance cameras is subject to a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). If you make changes to your existing surveillance activities or are starting a new one, you will be required to perform a data protection impact assessment. Each controller will have to inform data subjects of the use of surveillance cameras using the well-known sign/pictogram. In accordance with the GDPR, the controller needs to maintain a register of camera use. This register has to be made available to the Data Protection Authority upon request. In addition to this, the use of surveillance cameras has to be notified to the local police authority (the previous law required notification to the Privacy Commission). Again in line with the GDPR, surveillance cameras used for purely household or domestic purposes are exempt from the law.

A new element is that in the vicinity of a surveillance camera, a screen can show the real-time video feed of that camera. This practice was contested until now, but has now been legitimized.