GDPR fine against housing company for unlawful video surveillance in an apartment building

The Swedish Data Protection Authority has issued an administrative fine of SEK 300,000 (about 30,000 euros) against a housing company for unlawful video surveillance in an apartment building.

The Swedish Data Protection Authority (DPA) received a complaint concerning video surveillance in an apartment building belonging to the housing company Uppsalahem. The complainant claimed that there was a surveillance camera in the apartment house directed towards the complainant's front door.

The DPA's audit shows that the housing company had set up a surveillance camera monitoring the floor where the complainant lives. The camera's monitoring area clearly covered two apartment doors, one of which belongs to the complainant and the other belonging to a resident whom has been subject to disturbances and harassment.

The housing company states that the purpose of the video surveillance was to resolve disturbances having occurred in the stairwell over time.

"The way the video surveillance was set up, on the ground floor of the property, left all residents of the house subject to monitoring on their way to and from their respective home. This is especially true for the complainant and the closest neighbour, since their front doors are so clearly included in the monitoring area of the video surveillance. Even if the company had a legitimate interest for video surveillance, it was outweighed by the residents' right to privacy," says Gustav Linder, legal advisor at the Swedish Data Protection Authority's video surveillance team.

In its decision, the Swedish Data Protection Authority concludes that the video surveillance in question, monitoring individuals in their home environment is particularly privacy sensitive. For that reason, the DPA imposes a fine of SEK 300,000 on the housing company.

The housing company has ceased the video surveillance in question.



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