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Czech Case law, Czech law, Czech legal news, News

The use of the individual camera system put at the family house for the purpose of protection of the property, overlooking street – is not purely personal activity

The Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-212/13 – „Ryneš“ issued a judgement on 11.12.2014. The preliminary question states, whether the use of the individual camera system put at the family house for the purpose of protection of the property, life, health (from burglary), overlooks the street or other areas near their home fall under the Art. 3 par.2 of the Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.

Mr. Rynes, the journalist, installed the camera on his own house in order to secure his house against the violent incidents that happened several times in 2007 when the stones were thrown into his windows. The camera system was installed by the professional company and does not comprise the monitor. The record is available only for the purpose of the family and not to stream to third parties. According to the Czech case law, the record could be used in the criminal proceedings as an evidence. In October 2007 the offender was arrested thanks to the camera record. The offender made a complaint to the Office for personal data protection (Úřad pro ochranu osobních údajů) that the the cctv  breaches Act No. 101/2000 Coll., the Personal Data Protection Act.

The Court decided that

The second indent of Article 3(2) of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data must be interpreted as meaning that the operation of a camera system, as a result of which a video recording of people is stored on a continuous recording device such as a hard disk drive, installed by an individual on his family home for the purposes of protecting the property, health and life of the home owners, but which also monitors a public space, does not amount to the processing of data in the course of a purely personal or household activity, for the purposes of that provision.

However, it will be up to national court to decide and take in consideration all circumstances of the case. As also Czech Supereme Court has stated, Mr Ryneš’s only reason for operating the camera was to protect the property, health and life of his family and himself. Indeed, both Mr Ryneš and his family had for several years been subjected to attacks by persons unknown whom it had not been possible to identify. Furthermore, the windows of the family home had been broken on several occasions between 2005 and 2007. On the night of 6 to 7 October 2007, a further attack took place. One of the windows of Mr Ryneš’s home was broken by a shot from a catapult. The video surveillance system at issue made it possible to identify two suspects. The recording was handed over to the police and relied on in the course of the subsequent criminal proceedings.

The full judgements in English available here.

See previous post.

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About ondrejovae

Czech Attorney/Barrister located in Prague with specialization in media law and protection of personal rights

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