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13.06.18 New rules for cameras

June 13

Since 25 May 2018, not only has the GDPR entered into force, but adjustments have also been made to the regulations concerning surveillance cameras in the Camera Act.

Obligations under the Camera Act

Since 25 May 2018, cameras covered by the Camera Act have to be declared online to the police services, but no longer to the Data Protection Authority (DPA) (formerly: Privacy Commission). The declaration is made via the central electronic counter for the declaration of surveillance cameras, which is provided by the Federal Public Service for Internal Affairs.  As from today, 6 June 2018 cameras can be declared through / The obligation to declare also applies to cameras that have already been reported via the electronic counter of the Privacy Commission: these cameras must also be re-declared, but a transitional period has been provided for this (until 25 May 2020 at the latest).

Furthermore, certain information must be kept (electronically or not) in a specific record on the processing of images, and it must be kept available to the DPA and police services on request. This specific register is inspired by the general record of processing activities from the GDPR. It is not clear whether the general record of processing activities should also be completed in this case. In any case, we recommend including at least a reference to the specific record and keeping them both together.

Both innovations (declaration and specific record) do not apply to cameras placed on the work floor for the purposes referred to in CBA n° 68 (health and safety, protection of goods of the company, control of labour or production process). Therefore, a camera placed in a production department to monitor the productivity of the employee need not follow these rules. However, if the camera is also intended to prevent, detect or investigate criminal offences against persons or goods at the same time (e.g. a camera in a shop to check the work of the employee and to prevent theft by customers), the rules do apply.

Of course, the general provisions of the GDPR do apply to cameras covered by CBA n° 68. After all, cameras process personal data by means of camera images.

Therefore, each processing of personal data by camera images should be listed as a separate processing activity in the general record of processing activities. In addition, the parties involved must be informed about the processing of camera images. This can be done, for example, in a data protection statement or declaration or in a camera policy. 

Overview new rules

Cameras on the work floor

No declaration

Listed in general record of processing activities (GDPR)

Cameras under the Camera Act


Specific record on the processing of images (Camera Act)

Double use: Cameras on the work floor and Camera Act


Specific record on the processing of images (Camera Act)


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