Cameratoezicht collegezalen

 

Instantie: Europees Hof voor de Rechten van de Mens
Datum uitspraak: 28-11-2017
Rechtsgebied: Bescherming persoonsgegevens, privacy
 
Partijen: Antovic and Mirkovic
tegen
Montenegro
Regelgeving:
Inhoudsindicatie

Cameratoezicht in collegezalen is in strijd met het recht op privacy

Samenvatting

In 2011 heeft de decaan van de wiskundefaculteit van de universiteit van Montenegro het besluit genomen om cameratoezicht in te voeren in de collegezalen. De camera’s zijn opgehangen om de veiligheid van studenten en eigendommen te waarborgen, maar ook om de docenten te monitoren. Twee docenten (hierna: eisers) waren het niet eens met dit besluit en hebben in 2011 een klacht bij de lokale privacy autoriteit ingediend. De autoriteit heeft eisers in het gelijk gesteld. De universiteit heeft vervolgens op bevel van de autoriteit de camera’s uit de hoorcollegezalen verwijderd. Eiseres waren daar niet tevreden mee en zijn een civielrechtelijke procedure tegen de universiteit gestart, zij vorderden compensatie voor de gemaakte inbreuk op hun privacy. De nationale gerechten hebben de vordering van eisers afgewezen.

Het EHRM stelt voorop dat cameratoezicht op de werkvloer, heimelijk of niet, een inmenging in het privéleven van de werknemers oplevert. Een dergelijke inmenging in het privéleven is enkel gerechtvaardigd indien voldaan is aan de vereisten van art. 8 lid 2 van het EVRM.

Vervolgens merkt het EHRM op dat de nationale gerechten hebben nagelaten te onderzoeken of het cameratoezicht in overeenstemming was met de geldende wetgeving. De toezichthouder heeft dit wel onderzocht en is daarbij tot de conclusie gekomen dat het cameratoezicht niet in overeenstemming was met de geldende nationale wetgeving. In het bijzonder was er sprake van strijd met art. 10, 35 en 36 van de Personal Data Protection Act.

Op grond van art. 36 van de Personal Data Protection Act is het toegestaan om camera’s te plaatsen op de werkvloer indien het daarmee gediende doel, namelijk de waarborging van de veiligheid van mensen of eigendommen, niet op een andere manier kan worden bereikt. In het onderhavige geval is cameratoezicht geïntroduceerd om de veiligheid van de studenten en eigendommen te waarborgen en om het doceren te monitoren. Het EHRM wijst op het feit dat er geen grondslag in de wet bestaat voor het monitoren van de docenten. Voorts is uit het onderzoek van de toezichthouder gebleken dat er geen sprake was van enig gevaar voor studenten of eigendommen. Er was verder ook geen reden om aan te nemen dat de studenten of eigendommen in gevaar waren. De nationale gerechten hebben dit gegeven ook niet onderzocht.

Het EHRM oordeelt dat sprake is van schending van art. 8 EVRM. De cameratoezicht was niet in overeenstemming met de wet. De vordering van eisers wordt toegewezen.

Uitspraak
I. Alleged violation of Article 8 of the Convention

35. The applicants complained under Article 8 of the Convention that the alleged unlawful installation and use of video surveillance equipment in the university auditoriums where they held classes had violated their right to respect for their private life. The relevant Article reads as follows:

“1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

36. The Government contested that argument.

A. Admissibility
1. The parties’ submissions

37. The Government submitted that not all professional and business activities fell within the ambit of private life. The university was a public institution and teaching was an activity of public interest (djelatnost od javnog interesa). The area that had been under surveillance was a working area outside the scope of personal autonomy, unlike professors’ offices, where a certain amount of personal autonomy could exist.

38. They further maintained that the applicants had failed to exhaust all the effective domestic remedies, notably a constitutional appeal.

39. The applicants contested the Government’s submissions. In particular, they averred that a constitutional appeal was not an effective remedy at the relevant time.

2. The Court’s assessment
(a) Applicability of Article 8

40. The relevant principles in this regard are set out, for example, in Niemietz v. Germany (16 December 1992, §§ 29-31, Series A no. 251-B); Peck v. the United Kingdom (no. 44647/98, §§ 57-58, ECHR 2003-I); Halford v. the United Kingdom (25 June 1997, §§ 44-46, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-III); Fernández Martínez v. Spain [GC] (no. 56030/07, §§ 109-110, ECHR 2014 (extracts)); and Barbulescu v. Romania [GC] (no. 61496/08, §§ 70-73, 5 September 2017).

41. In particular, the Court reiterates that “private life” is a broad term not susceptible to exhaustive definition and that it would be too restrictive to limit the notion of “private life” to an “inner circle” in which the individual may live his own personal life as he chooses and to exclude therefrom entirely the outside world not encompassed within that circle (see Niemietz, cited above, § 29). Article 8 thus guarantees a right to “private life” in the broad sense, including the right to lead a “private social life”, that is, the possibility for the individual to develop his or her social identity. In that respect, the right in question enshrines the possibility of approaching others in order to establish and develop relationships with them (see Barbulescu, cited above, § 70, and the authorities cited therein).

42. The Court has already held that the notion of “private life” may include professional activities or activities taking place in a public context (see Barbulescu, cited above, § 71, and the authorities cited therein). It is, after all, in the course of their working lives that the majority of people have a significant, if not the greatest, opportunity to develop relationships with the outside world, and it is not always possible to distinguish clearly which of an individual’s activities form part of his professional or business life and which do not (see Niemietz, cited above, § 29). There is therefore a zone of interaction of a person with others, even in a public context, which may fall within the scope of “private life” (see Peck, cited above, § 57), professional life being part of it (see Fernández Martínez, cited above, § 110 in fine).

43. In order to ascertain whether the notion of “private life” is applicable, the Court has on several occasions examined whether individuals had a reasonable expectation that their privacy would be respected and protected. In that context, it has stated that a reasonable expectation of privacy is a significant though not necessarily conclusive factor (see Barbulescu, cited above, § 73, and the authorities cited therein).

44. Turning to the present case, the Court notes that university amphitheatres are the workplaces of teachers. It is where they not only teach students, but also interact with them, thus developing mutual relations and constructing their social identity. It has already been held that covert video surveillance of an employee at his or her workplace must be considered, as such, as a considerable intrusion into the employee’s private life. It entails the recorded and reproducible documentation of a person’s conduct at his or her workplace, which the employee, being obliged under the employment contract to perform the work in that place, cannot evade (see Köpke v. Germany (dec.), no. 420/07, 5 October 2010). There is no reason for the Court to depart from that finding even where it concerns cases of non-covert video surveillance of an employee at his or her workplace. Furthermore, the Court has also held that even where the employer’s regulations in respect of the employees’ private social life in the workplace are restrictive they cannot reduce it to zero. Respect for private life continues to exist, even if it might be restricted in so far as necessary (see Barbulescu, cited above, § 80).

45. In view of the above, the Court considers that the data collected by the impugned video surveillance related to the applicants’ “private life”, thus making Article 8 applicable to their complaint.

(b) Exhaustion of domestic remedies

46. The relevant principles in this regard are set out in Vuckovic and Others v. Serbia (preliminary objection) ([GC], nos. 17153/11 and 29 others, §§ 69-75, 25 March 2014).

47. Turning to the present case, the Court has already held that as of 20 March 2015 a constitutional appeal in Montenegro can in principle be considered an effective domestic remedy (see Sinistaj and Others v. Montenegro, nos. 1451/10 and 2 others, § 123, 24 November 2015). The Court reiterates in this regard that, while it can be subject to exceptions which might be justified by the specific circumstances of each case, the issue of whether domestic remedies have been exhausted is normally determined by reference to the date when the application was lodged with the Court (see Baumann v. France, no. 33592/96, § 47, ECHR 2001-V (extracts)). Given that the applicants lodged their application in October 2013, which was long before the constitutional appeal became an effective domestic remedy in the respondent State, the Court considers that they were not required to avail themselves of that particular remedy (see Sinistaj and Others, cited above, §§ 124-125). The Government’s objection must therefore be dismissed.

(c) The Court’s conclusion

48. The Court notes that the application is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.

B. Merits
1. The parties’ submissions
(a) The applicants

49. The applicants submitted that the impugned video surveillance had been unlawful, had not pursued any legitimate aim and had not been necessary in a democratic society. The Dean of the School had collected and processed the data obtained thereby without any restriction and the applicants had had no effective control over that information. The Agency had also failed to live up to its legal obligations, thus in addition making the interference arbitrary.

(b) The Government

50. The Government submitted that surveillance over activities that took place in public or with photographic equipment was not considered to be an interference with a person’s private life unless it was disclosed or published, which was not the case here.

51. They further submitted that the impugned interference, in spite of certain administrative failures (i pored odredenih administrativnih propusta), had been lawful, had pursued a legitimate aim, and had been necessary in a democratic society.

52. The aim that had been pursued, which could not have been achieved in a less invasive manner, had been the prevention and investigation of safety-related incidents, such as thefts and burglaries, in which property belonging to both the university and its employees, including professors, had been stolen. It had also aimed at preventing the bringing in of firearms, “the unauthorised bringing in of animals”, begging, as well as incidents in the amphitheatres in which professors had been threatened with physical violence. Even the police had recommended the installation of video surveillance equipment.

53. They further maintained that all the people involved, including the applicants, had been duly informed of the measure, that the data collected had not been misused in any way and that only the Dean of the School had had access to it. The data had therefore been used exclusively for the purposes provided for by the law and within a limited period, given that the data had been automatically deleted after thirty days. The Government further submitted that the cameras had taken low-resolution pictures, had had no zoom capacity, and that their location and angles of recording had been set up “in accordance with a methodological risk analysis, but also with personal data protection”.

54. The Government averred that States had a wide margin of appreciation when it came to video surveillance in the public interest, and the respondent State had acted in accordance with both national and European legal standards. In any event, it was not the Court’s task to assess the interpretation and application of national law by the domestic courts, nor their findings and conclusions, and the domestic courts had found no violation of the applicants’ right to respect for their private life.

2. The Court’s assessment

55. The Court has already held in the present case that video surveillance of an employee in the workplace, be it covert or not, must be considered as a considerable intrusion into the employee’s private life (see paragraph 44 above), and hence it considers that it constitutes an interference within the meaning of Article 8. Any interference can only be justified under Article 8 § 2 if it is in accordance with the law, pursues one of more of the legitimate aims to which that provision refers and is necessary in a democratic society in order to achieve any such aim (see Vukota-Bojic v. Switzerland, no. 61838/10, § 60, 18 October 2016).

56. The Court notes that the domestic courts did not examine the question of the acts being in accordance with the law given that they did not consider the impugned video surveillance to be an interference with the applicants’ private life in the first place.

57. However, the Personal Data Protection Agency did and in doing so explicitly held that it was not in accordance with the law, notably sections 10, 35 and 36 of the Personal Data Protection Act (see paragraph 11 above).

58. The Court observes in that respect that section 35 provides that public institutions – the university, according to the Government’s own submission, being one of them – can carry out video surveillance of areas of access to official premises. However, in the present case the video surveillance was carried out in the amphitheatres.

59. Moreover, section 36 provides that video surveillance equipment can also be installed in official or business premises, but only if the aims provided for by that section, notably the safety of people or property or the protection of confidential data, cannot be achieved in any other way. The Court observes that video surveillance was introduced in the present case to ensure the safety of property and people, including students, and for the surveillance of teaching. It is noted that one of those aims, notably the surveillance of teaching, is not provided for by the law at all as a ground for video surveillance. Furthermore, the Agency explicitly held that there was no evidence that either property or people had been in jeopardy, one of the reasons to justify the introduction of video surveillance (see paragraph 11 above), and the domestic courts did not deal with that issue at all (see paragraph 14 in fine above). The Government, for their part, neither provided any evidence to the contrary in that regard (see paragraph 52 above) nor showed that they had even considered any other measure as an alternative beforehand.

60. Given that the relevant legislation explicitly provides for certain conditions to be met before camera surveillance is resorted to, and that in the present case those conditions have not been met, and taking into account the decision of the Agency in this regard (in the absence of any examination of the question by the domestic courts), the Court cannot but conclude that the interference in question was not in accordance with the law, a fact that suffices to constitute a violation of Article 8. Having regard to the foregoing conclusion, the Court does not consider it necessary to examine whether the other requirements of paragraph 2 of Article 8 were complied with (see Amann v. Switzerland [GC], no. 27798/95, § 81, ECHR 2000-II, and Vukota-Bojic, cited above, § 78).

II. Application of Article 41 of the Convention

61. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”

A. Damage

62. The applicants claimed 1,000 euros (EUR) each in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

63. The Government contested the applicants’ claim.

64. The Court awards the applicants EUR 1,000 each in respect of non-pecuniary damage.

B. Costs and expenses

65. The applicants also claimed EUR 1,312.50 for the costs and expenses incurred before the domestic courts and EUR 357 for those incurred before the Court.

66. The Government contested the applicants’ claim.

67. According to the Court’s case-law, an applicant is entitled to the reimbursement of costs and expenses only in so far as it has been shown that these have been actually and necessarily incurred and are reasonable as to quantum. In the present case, regard being had to the documents in its possession and the above criteria, the Court considers it reasonable to award the applicants jointly the entire sum of EUR 1,669.5 covering costs under all heads.

C. Default interest

68. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

For these reasons, the Court

1. Declares, by a majority, the application admissible;

2. Holds, by four votes to three, that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention;

3. Holds, by four votes to three,

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, the following amounts:

(i) EUR 1,000 (one thousand euros) each, plus any tax that may be chargeable, in respect of non-pecuniary damage;

(ii) EUR 1,669.50 (one thousand six hundred and sixty-nine euros and fifty cents) jointly, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants, in respect of costs and expenses;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points.

Joint concurring opinion of Judges Vucinic and Lemmens

1. We fully agree with the finding of a violation of Article 8 of the Convention. We would, however, have preferred a slightly different reasoning.

2. This case is about video surveillance in university auditoria where the applicants, two professors, have been teaching to their students. The main issue before the Court is whether Article 8 is applicable to the facts of the case.

While the majority consider that university auditoria are the teachers’ “workplaces” and approach the case as one relating to an interference in an employee’s private life by his employer (see paragraph 44 of the judgment), we would attach more importance to the nature of the activity that was placed under surveillance.

3. An important aspect of the right to respect for private life is the “right to live privately, away from unwanted attention” (see Smirnova v. Russia, nos. 46133/99 and 48183/99, § 95, ECHR 2003-IX (extracts); Sidabras and Dziautas v. Lithuania, nos. 55480/00 and 59330/00, § 43, ECHR 2004-VIII; Couderc and Hachette Filipacchi Associés v. France [GC], no. 40454/07, § 83, ECHR 2015 (extracts); Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v. Finland [GC], no. 931/13, § 130, ECHR 2017 (extracts); and Barbulescu v. Romania [GC], no. 61496/08, § 70, ECHR 2017 (extracts)).

However, Article 8 of the Convention also guarantees the development, without outside interference, of the personality of each individual in his or her relations with other human beings. There is thus a zone of interaction of a person with others, even in a public context, which may fall within the scope of private life (see P.G. and J.H. v. the United Kingdom, no. 44787/98, § 56, ECHR 2001-IX; Peck v. the United Kingdom, no. 44647/98, § 57, ECHR 2003-I; Perry v. the United Kingdom, no. 63737/00, § 36, ECHR 2003-IX (extracts); Uzun v. Germany, no. 35623/05, § 43, ECHR 2010 (extracts); Von Hannover v. Germany (no. 2) [GC], nos. 40660/08 and 60641/08, § 95, ECHR 2012; Couderc and Hachette Filipacchi Associés, cited above, § 83; Vukota-Bojic v. Switzerland, no. 61838/10, § 52, 18 October 2016; Magyar Helsinki Bizottság v. Hungary [GC], no. 18030/11, § 191, ECHR 2016; and Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy, cited above, § 131).

There are a number of elements relevant to consideration of whether a person’s private life is concerned by measures implemented outside that person’s home or private premises. Since there are occasions when people knowingly or intentionally involve themselves in activities which are or may be recorded or reported in a public manner, a person’s reasonable expectations as to privacy may be a significant, although not necessarily conclusive, factor (see P.G. and J.H. v. the United Kingdom, cited above, § 57; Perry, cited above, § 37; Uzun, cited above, § 44; Vukota-Bojic, cited above, § 54; and Magyar Helsinki Bizottság, cited above, § 193).

4. The present case does not concern security cameras placed, for instance, at the entrances and exits of university buildings. It relates to the video surveillance of auditoria. While ensuring the safety of people and property was invoked as one of the aims of the measure (see paragraph 7 of the judgment), this justification was not considered credible by the Council of the Personal Data Protection Agency (see paragraph 11 of the judgment). The other aim invoked was monitoring of the teaching activities (see paragraph 7 of the judgment). The fact that it was the dean who had access to the tapes seems to confirm that this was indeed an aim pursued.

University auditoria are neither private nor public places. They are places where teachers meet their students and interact with them (see paragraph 44 of the judgment).

These interactions are of course not of a purely social nature. The setting is a very specific one. The teacher teaches students who are enrolled in his or her class. The relationship between teacher and students takes shape during the whole period of teaching (a year or a semester). In the auditorium the teacher can allow him- or herself to act (“perform”) in a way he or she would perhaps never do outside the classroom.

It seems to us that in such an interaction the teacher may have an expectation of privacy, in the sense that he or she may normally expect that what is going on in the classroom can be followed only by those who are entitled to attend the class and who actually attend it. No “unwanted attention” from others, who have nothing to do with the class. There may be exceptions, for instance when a lecture is taped for educational purposes, including for use by students who were unable to physically attend the class. However, in the applicants’ case there was no such purpose.

It seems to us that at least in an academic environment, where both the teaching and the learning activities are covered by academic freedom, the said expectation of privacy can be considered a “reasonable” one. Surveillance as a measure of control by the dean is, in our opinion, not something a teacher should normally expect.

Having regard to the specific features of the teacher-student relationship, we have no difficulty concluding that Article 8 of the Convention is applicable.

5. The foregoing does not mean that video surveillance in an auditorium is not possible.

There may be good reasons for putting an auditorium under video surveillance. But, since Article 8 is applicable, such a measure will then have to comply with the conditions set out in Article 8 § 2 (see paragraph 55 of the judgment). This means, among other things, that there must be a proper legal basis, that the scope of the surveillance must be limited, and that there are guarantees against abuse.

6. In the present case, we concur with the judgment insofar as it concludes that the interference in question was not in accordance with the law and therefore constituted a violation of Article 8 (see paragraphs 56-60 of the judgment).

Joint dissenting opinion of Judge Spano, Bianku and Kj⊘lbro

1. In the majority’s view, the contested video monitoring of the university auditoriums where the applicants were teaching as professors, related to and interfered with the applicants’ private life as protected by Article 8 of the Convention (see paragraphs 44-45 and 56 of the judgment). As we respectfully disagree, we voted against declaring the application admissible and finding a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

2. In our view, and as explained below, the judgment expands the scope of Article 8 § 1 of the Convention and may have significant implications.

3. The Court has decided a number of cases concerning monitoring in public places, including video surveillance, and it transpires from case-law that such monitoring does not automatically raise an issue under Article 8 § 1 of the Convention.

4. In this context, the Court has stated that “private life” is inapplicable to places which are freely accessible to the public and which are used for activities which do not relate to the private sphere of the participants (see Steel and Morris v. the United Kingdom (dec.), no. 68416/01, 22 October 2002). Furthermore, the normal use of security cameras, whether in public streets or on premises, such as shopping centres or police stations, do not as such raise issues under Article 8 § 1 of the Convention (see Peck v. the United Kingdom, no. 44647/98, § 59, ECHR 2003-I, and Perry v. the United Kingdom, no. 63737/00, §§ 38 and 40, ECHR 2003-IX (extracts)). That having been said, recording and systematic or permanent storing of such data may interfere with private life, even if the monitoring has taken place at a public place (see Peck, cited above, § 59, and Perry, cited above, § 38). Likewise, covert and systematic surveillance of a person in public places, including by means of video, and storing and subsequent use of the data obtained may interfere with private life (see Perry, cited above, §§ 39-43, and Vukota-Bojic v. Switzerland, no. 61838/10, § 52-59, 18 October 2016). Likewise, disclosure of recordings from surveillance cameras in public places may interfere with private life (see Peck, cited above, §§ 60-63). Likewise, permanent video surveillance of a person may interfere with private life (see Van der Graaf v. the Netherlands (dec.), no. 8704/03, 1 June 2004).

5. The Court has also decided a number of cases concerning monitoring at workplaces, including video surveillance, and it transpires from this case-law that an employer’s surveillance of employees at the workplace does not automatically raise an issue under Article 8 § 1 of the Convention.

6. In this context, the Court has found that an employer’s interception of an employee’s phone calls from the workplace fell within the scope of the notion of “private life” in situations where the employee had a reasonable expectation of privacy for such calls (see Halford v. the United Kingdom, 25 June 1997, §§ 44-46, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-III). This applies not only to an employee’s phone calls but also to e-mails and internet usage (see Copland v. the United Kingdom, no. 62617/00, §§ 41-42, ECHR 2007-I). The Court has stated that an employee’s reasonable expectations as to privacy is a significant though not necessarily conclusive factor (see Köpke v. Germany (dec.), no. 420/07, 5 October 2010, Barbulescu v. Romania [GC], no. 61496/08, § 74, ECHR 2017). The Court has found that the video recording of an employee’s conduct at her workplace without prior notice, the processing and examination by several persons of the material obtained, and the subsequent use in public court proceedings of such material raised an issue under the employee’s “private life” (see Köpke, cited above). Likewise, the Court has found that an employer’s monitoring of an employee’s use of internet and access to private messages sent by means of an instant messaging service (Yahoo Messenger) raised an issue under the applicant’s “private life” (see Barbulescu, cited above, §§ 74-81).

7. Under the Court’s case-law concerning monitoring, it is, in principle, necessary to make a distinction between video monitoring as such and the recording, processing and use of the data obtained on the other side, both situations being able to give rise to private-life considerations (see Köpke, cited above, Peck, cited above, §§ 58-59, Perry, cited above, §§ 38 and 40-41).

8. From the Court’s existing case-law we deduce the following: video monitoring or surveillance does not in itself amount to an interference with the private lives of the persons monitored. Whether that is the case depends on an assessment of the specific circumstances of the case, including where the monitoring takes place, the nature of the activities monitored, whether the monitoring is targeted and systematic, whether the persons monitored had a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether notice had been given or whether the person irrespective of such notice had a reasonable expectation of privacy having regard to the nature of the activities, whether the information is stored, processed and made use of, including whether it is disseminated. In other words, it depends on an assessment of the video monitoring as such as well as the storing, processing and use of the data or information gathered.

9. In assessing the applicability of the “private life” aspect of Article 8 § 1 of the Convention, the majority focuses on the video surveillance as such (see paragraph 44-45 and 56 of the judgment), and not on any recording or subsequent use of the information gathered. For the majority, it suffices to evoke Article 8, on the basis that the video surveillance or monitoring took place in the workplace of the applicants, the auditorium where they as professors were teaching and interacting with students. In our view, this is a very extensive and broad understanding of the “private life” notion.

10. In our view, having regard to the specific circumstances of the present case, the university’s video monitoring in the auditorium where the applicants were teaching as professors did not raise an issue as regards the applicants’ private life, and in this context we agree with the assessment of the domestic courts. We find it conclusive that the video monitoring took place at the university auditoriums, that the applicants had been notified of the video surveillance, that what was monitored was the applicants’ professional activity, that the surveillance was remote, that there was no audio recording and thus no recording of the teaching or discussions, that the pictures were blurred and the persons could not easily be recognised, that the video recordings were only accessible to the dean and were automatically deleted after 30 days, and that the data or information was not subsequently used.

11. As mentioned above, the majority only relies on the video monitoring as such, and not on the recording, processing or possible use of the data gathered. Be that as it may, we would like to add that in our view the storing of the video surveillance did not in itself raise an issue under “private life”. Even though it may be argued that a video filmed concerns data about identified or identifiable persons (see Amann v. Switzerland [GC], no. 27798/95, § 65, ECHR 2000-II, and Satakunnan Markkinapörssi Oy and Satamedia Oy v. Finland [GC], no. 931/13, § 133, ECHR 2017 (extracts)), the applicants have not argued in this case that the quality of the video was such that it would lead to their identification, thus raising an issue under the applicants’ private life as protected by Article 8 § 1 of the Convention, nor that any data was or could be used in such a way that the “private life” aspect of Article 8 § 1 of the Convention came into play (see a contrario S. and Marper v. the United Kingdom [GC], nos. 30562/04 and 30566/04, §§ 60-61 and 67, ECHR 2008).

12. In sum, we respectfully dissent from the majority’s findings that the video monitoring, as such, brought the applicant’s complaint within the scope of Article 8 § 1 of the Convention and constituted an interference with their privacy rights. We emphasise that the applicants are university teachers who were giving lectures in a university amphitheater, thus fully engaged in a professional activity in a quasi-public setting, and not, for example, in their offices. Having been notified of the video surveillance in the amphitheatres, their reasonable expectation of privacy in that particular context, if any, was very limited. In conclusion, the mere fact of the amphitheaters being monitored cannot in our view engage Article 8 § 1 of the Convention without further elements being demonstrated, as we have explained above. By expanding the scope of Article 8 § 1 to include the facts of the present case, the majority have overly broadened the notion of “private life” under that provision, to an extent which lacks a basis in the Court’s case-law and is not sufficiently supported by cogent legal arguments.

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