NPC issues rules on use of CCTVs

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    The National Privacy Council (NPC) yesterday said entities that use closed-circuit television (CCTV) to monitor public and semi-public spaces must identify its legitimate purpose and consider its impact on the rights and freedoms of data subjects.

    NPC issued Advisory No. 2020-04 on Nov. 16, 2020 to guide personal information controllers (PICs) and processors (PIPs) that process personal data through the use of CCTV systems.

    The capture, use, retention and destruction of video and/or audio footage obtained from CCTVs are forms of personal data processing under the Data Privacy Act. Before installing a CCTV, the purpose/s of processing personal data to be obtained from the system must be determined.

    Purposes that are allowed include compliance with the law or regulation; security of properties; protection of important interests of individuals; and, public order and safety. However, these purposes are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of data subjects.

    “CCTV systems, when used reasonably and appropriately, are tools that support the safety and security of PICs, PIPs and data subjects. Implement organizational, technical and security measures, conduct regular reviews on the system, and ensure that its use is bound to specified and legitimate purposes,” said privacy commissioner Raymund Liboro.