Video surveillance in the company

A video surveillance device can be installed in the workplace for the safety of property and people, as a deterrent or to identify the perpetrators of theft, damage or assault.

The cameras record everything, including the actions of employees Rev Interactive, and an employer may be tempted to use this system to monitor employees.

However, video surveillance must respect the principle of proportionality and must necessarily be carried out in an adequate, relevant and not excessive manner and must be strictly necessary for the objective pursued.

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The implementation of video surveillance then responds to strict rules established by the legislator and case law.

What are the formalities to be carried out?

The formalities vary depending on the nature of the places filmed:

Places open to the public: public entry and exit, shopping areas, counters, cash desks

The employer must request a prefectural authorization prior to any installation of video surveillance. The application form might be accomplished online on the site directly: 

It can also be collected from the prefecture of the department or downloaded from the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

Places not open to the public: storage places, reserves, areas dedicated to 

From now on, the device must be registered in the data processing register. If a Data Protection Officer (DPO) has been appointed in the company, he must be involved in setting up the system.

As a reminder

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Since the entry into force of the GDPR, a Data Protection Officer (DPO) must be appointed in the following cases:

  • The handling of personal data use to be perform by a public body or a public authority 
  • The basic activities of the entity concerned are the implementation of data processing which, due to their nature, scope and / or purpose, require regular and systematic monitoring
  • The basic activities of the entity concerned are the implementation of large-scale processing of special categories of data (health, religious data, etc.) or data relating to criminal convictions or offenses

What are the rules to respect with regard to the people filmed, and in particular the employees?

Whether for employees or visitors, it is imperative to inform of the existence of video surveillance by means of a sign displayed in a visible manner which mentions:

  • The existence of the device,
  • The name of the manager,
  • The legal basis of the system (most of the time it is the legitimate interest of the employer to secure the premises),
  • The retention period of the images,
  • The prospect of submitting a complaint to the CNIL,
  • The procedure to follow to request access to visual recordings concerning them.

Employees must also be informed individually. Since the system may need to change, it is not advisable to include this information in the employment contract when hiring or in an amendment. It is recommended to display a memo on the information board intended for employees, and to duplicate the posting of this memo by hand delivery to each employee.