Agreement on CCTV surveillance

The Swedish Data Inspection Board has agreed to new industry regulations regarding CCTV surveillance in apartment buildings (link in Swedish).

The board had previously declared that CCTV surveillance was not allowed in public areas of apartment buildings. This because of the possibility to monitor habits and daily life of the tenants and their acquaintances. This in turn led to the new regulations now published.

The regulations only allow CCTV monitoring the public areas of a building, not the apartments themselves. It also states that areas that are necessary to pass to get in and out of the apartments are not to be monitored except in very special cases. Examples of such case is if an area has been the haunt of persons which frequently act violent and threatening, or are stealing or causing severe damage to the property.

CCTV in areas not frequently accessed, such as storage areas or similar, are not to be considered a violation of the personal integrity. Therefore it will be easier to get a permit for CCTV surveillance for these.

It is stated that the time for surveillance shall be kept to a minimum in all cases. This means for instance that if vandalism occurs during a specific period of time, the monitoring shall be limited to that time period.

It is an pretty well formulated directive regarding CCTV in public places. But of course we will have to wait and see how it will be used in practice. Also, there is no direct proof regarding CCTV will stop crime. The proof that exists actually rather point to the CCTV not adding any security at all. I’ll link to Bruce Schneiers lates post on this, since it contains several good links and is an excellent read on the subject.

The new industry regulations regarding CCTV surveillance of apartment buildings are available (in Swedish only) as a pdf download here.