Global Information Technology & Communications
Poland - Law on video monitoring
At present, there is no specific legislation dedicated to regulating video monitoring in Poland. Initiatives geared towards the regulation of this area are still at its very early stages. To this date, the processing of images and data collected by cameras is governed by the general provisions of the Data Processing Act. These provisions do not adequately address video monitoring activities. As a response to this, the Ministry of Internal Affairs recently published new guidelines for the draft of a new law called the Act on Video Monitoring ("Guidelines").
The goal of this Act is to provide safeguards for the privacy and freedom of persons who may be subject to surveillance by setting rules for the installation and operation of video operating systems as well as specifying conditions of access to the taped images by state authorities. The nature of the sanctions, in the event of infringement, has been changed from criminal liability (including imprisonment) to administrative fines. The amount of such fines has not yet been determined.
The Guidelines distinguish between monitoring in open or public areas and monitoring in private areas. Monitoring in public areas is subject to stringent requirements and may only be conducted by public authorities or on behalf of public authorities. In this regard, a resolution of the municipal council followed by public consultations, must be obtained. Monitoring in private areas may be conducted by private entities, provided that the relevant entity is entitled to manage the area being monitored. Home monitoring for private purposes is not covered by the new law. However, if the camera coverage will include a portion of a public space, signage indicating that video surveillance is taking place should be clearly visible.
Application of the proposed legislation
Under the new law, every person has the right to be informed of surveillance. The law will specify the required signage to be put in place and recordings may be stored for a limited time only. The new law will implement a ban on monitoring systems that combine both image and sound recording. In addition, the new law creates the position of an 'administrator of monitoring systems', who will have oversight powers to ensure compliance with the law. Enforcement of the law will be entrusted to the Polish data protection authority.
For more information, please contact Marek Rosinski, Radoslaw Nozykowski, Bartosz Tomaszewski or Jakub Falkowski.