Thursday, 28 January 2016 - 14:45
Saunas warned not to record naked clients; funeral homes cautioned on privacy
The Dutch privacy watchdog Personal Data Authority sent a letter to several saunas and funeral homes warning them to be cautious about their clients' privacy, after receiving "numerous signals" about cameras in saunas and filming of funerals. Saunas are warned that they are not allowed to have security cameras in areas where guests are undressed, for example in changing rooms and showers. According to the Authority, filming people while they are naked is a "great invasion of privacy" and is not allowed as a rule. Preventing thefts or sexual acts is not a good enough reason to violate a client's privacy in this way. If the saunas do not keep to these rules, the Authority can impose a fine of up to 820 thousand euros. The funeral industry also received a warning about only recording funerals if their customer explicitly requests it. Funeral homes increasingly offer the service of recording or even live-streaming funerals, but this is only allowed with permission. The Authority also warned about recording people in general, including businesses outside the sauna and funeral sectors and personal cameras, such as "smart" cameras and cameras on drones. Using surveillance cameras is only permitted if absolutely necessary and if the people you are recording know they are being filmed. "Camera surveillance can be an important means to protect property and to, for example, maintain public order. But camera surveillance also means a violation of the privacy of those involved", said Wilbert Tomesen, vice president of the Authority. "This breach can be significant, especially when people do not know they are being filmed and think themselves unobserved."