An ever larger number of cameras are being installed at schools, e.g. to prevent vandalism or theft. But a school cannot install cameras just like that. It is only allowed to do so if the school meets a number of conditions. Hidden cameras are only allowed in very exceptional cases.
The school must have a so-called legitimate interest in the camera surveillance. This could be the protection of properties, students, teachers, or visitors.
Need for Camera Surveillance
Camera surveillance at a school will only be allowed if it is necessary, meaning that the school is unable to achieve the goal otherwise. Is there no other possibility that is less invasive of privacy? Also, the camera surveillance cannot be used by itself. It should be part of a total package of measuresn.
The school should first conduct a privacy review. This means that the school should weigh the interests of students, teachers, and visitors against its own interests. In addition, the school should previously discuss the plans with the representative advisory council.
Obligation to Notify Camera Surveillance
The school should make sure that students, teachers, and visitors know that there is a camera, e.g. by putting up signs. If the school fails to do so, it may be punishable.
Retention period for Footage
The school may not keep the camera footage for more than 4 weeks. However, if an incident, such as theft, has been recorded, the school may retain the footage until the case has been handled.
No, this is not normally allowed. However, in case of clear suspicions of theft or fraud committed by students or teachers, the school may use a hidden camera (secret camera surveillance) under certain conditions.
Conditions for Hidden Camera Use
A school may only use a hidden camera if the school has met the following conditions: