Drones – remote-controlled plane that allows capturing and identifying people and their private space became a phenomenon in recent years in the Czech Republic as well.
What is the liability of the owners or users of such devices in respect of personal rights?
The owners and users are obliged to follow obligations under the Protection of personal data act, no. 101/2000 Coll. and in respect of general rules on personal right the New Civil Code, act no. 89/2012 Coll.
The owner or the user of the drone with a camera that allows recording and storing personal data become a “data controller” and “data processor” under the Act. According to the Act the owner is allowed to record and store personal data if there is (Art. 5 Act):
- consent of the data subject obtained in advance
- is required by law
- protection of the rights of the controller or others (e.g. on public places, in a scope necessary for the purpose, protection of own property
- protection of the vitally important interests of the data subject (rescue)
It is forbidden to record intimate activities or activities that degrade human dignity.
Not applicable in case of special acts – regulation of police or army services.
The data controller or processor is obliged to protect the data and notify the Office for Personal Data Protection for registration.
The Protection of personal data act is not applicable mainly if:
- the aim of recording is to record landscape, industrial areas, nature
- the recording only allows transmitting, not storing
- processing the personal data solely for personal use
If the recording contains incidental shot of personal data needs to be erased or destroyed to avoid liability.
If the drone with camera take a shot contain privacy aspects, images, voices and the owner or the user does not have a consent of the relevant subject, it violates the personal rights, mainly privacy, dignity, image rights, family life and other aspects of personal nature. The harmed person is protected under the New Civil Code, art. 81 ff. and has right to ask for compensation either in form of moral satisfaction or pecuniary one – damages. The persona whose rights were breached may bring the Protection of personal rights claim or ask for preliminary injunction to restrain publishing information gained from the recording. For more details see previous post.
As to breach of the rules stated in the Protection of personal data Act, one can bring a complaint to Office for Personal Data Protection which is a state body that may issue a fine to the controller or processor. It is also possible to directly sue the person for breach of personal data under the above mentioned Protection of personal rights claim.
This post deals with privacy and data protection aspects of usage of drones, aside stay the Czech regulation for permission, usage and rules on operating the drones under special Acts (Aviation Act).