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As a trader, you may be wondering if it is possible to place a video surveillance system in your points of sale or your warehouses in order to prevent theft or damage that would be committed by third parties.

The answer is positive provided that the conditions of the law known as 'Camera law' of March 21, 2007 which frames non-police use surveillance cameras. The GDPR (EU Regulation 2016/679) must also be taken into account in this context.

The basic principle of the “camera law” is that the data controller must ensure that the information relating to video surveillance is clearly visible to the persons being monitored.

Moreover, video surveillance cannot extend to the public way or to the property of a third party.

Finally, surveillance cameras cannot in any case have the purpose of capturing images that infringe on a person's privacy, nor aim to collect information relating to philosophical, religious, political or union opinions, ethnic or social origin, sex life or state of health.

Who is affected by the cameras law?

Est directement concerné par « la loi caméras », le gérant d’un magasin qui installe une caméra de surveillance pour surveiller sa vitrine ou les rayons du magasin. Sont aussi concernées les entreprises qui installent des caméras pour protèger leurs bâtiments ou terrains contre le vol, les dégradations, les effractions mais également le particulier qui installe une caméra pour surveiller l’entrée de sa maison ou le jardin autour de sa maison ;

The only exception is the natural person who installs a surveillance camera inside his private home, for personal and domestic purposes. (However, this does not mean that you can film people in your home without their permission or without their knowledge).

Three main obligations to respect:

1 / Declare your surveillance cameras (to the police);

The declarations must be introduced by the data controller (the one who determines the purposes of the surveillance cameras) via the site before commissioning of surveillance cameras and during modifications. Each year, the declaration must be validated and, if necessary, updated.

2 / Keep a register of surveillance image processing activities;

The person responsible for processing surveillance videos has the obligation to written register image processing activities surveillance camera implemented under its responsibility. This register must be able to be presented on request to the police and the Data Protection Authority and contains all the information required by the GDPR and the camera law.

When it comes to surveillance cameras directed towards the perimeter of a
closed place which presents a particular risk for safety (article 8/2 of
the cameras law), the register also contains the positive opinion of the municipal council

3 / Affix a regulatory pictogram at the entrance to the monitored location.

THEroyal security of February 10, 2008 defining the manner of reporting the existence of surveillance by camera (modified by the royal decrees of August 21, 2009, May 28, 2018, December 2, 2018 and March 23, 2020) provides for the requirements that the pictograms must meet.

The basic principle is that the data controller must ensure that the model of pictogram chosen ensures a certain visibility of the information by placing this pictogram in a visible place at the entrance or possibly at the entrances of the supervised places.

It should also be remembered that for each category of video surveillance (for example a store or a car park), the data controller must ensure that the pictogram respects the very precise dimensions applicable to the scenario, the model and colors listed in the appendix to the 'decree and the prescriptions relating to the material of the pictogram (aluminum or in certain cases a plasticized sticker).

Finally, the following mandatory information must appear on the pictogram:

1 ° “Camera surveillance - Law of March 21, 2007”;

2 ° the name of the natural or legal person responsible for the processing, and, where applicable, of his representative, with whom the rights provided for by the general data protection regulation can be exercised by the data subjects;

3 ° the postal address, and where applicable, the electronic address, or the telephone number, at which the data controller or his representative can be contacted;

4 ° where applicable, the contact details of the data protection officer;

5 ° where applicable, the website of the data controller, where data subjects can consult all information on image processing using these surveillance cameras.

If these notices are written in several languages, they may be affixed to several pictograms or contiguous unilingual supports.

In the case of surveillance by cameras using automatic license plate recognition cameras, the words "ANPR" are added in black capital letters clearly visible inside the design of the surveillance camera.

Retention period, rights of the people filmed and security measures

Access to the images is reserved for authorized members of staff (mentioned in particular in the declaration and the register of processing activities). The images cannot be kept by the controller for more than a month if they are not used for an investigation.

Anyone filmed also has the right to request access to the images and obtain a copy unless this request (for a copy) infringes the rights and freedoms of others or public security or the prevention and detection of criminal offenses.

The data controller must adopt the technical and organizational measures necessary to ensure the security of the data processed and to prevent unauthorized access.

Sanctions and consequences of non-compliance with the camera law and the GDPR:

Entering a site beyond the pictogram is worth being filmed.

However, no one can be filmed without their knowledge.

The camera law provides for an arsenal of fines for infringements without prejudice to administrative fines imposed at the discretion of the Data Protection Authority or the possibility of persons who have suffered damage to bring proceedings to recover damages and interests.

The absence of a pictogram can also lead to the nullity of the evidence in the event of use of the images in court.


If you decide to have surveillance cameras installed, remember that you will need to determine in advance depending on the purpose of the video surveillance and the location concerned.

Then a legal analysis is advised in order to know if there is no legal obstacle in the law cameras, in the Regulation relating to the data protection or in other legislative texts to the placement of these cameras.

Finally, if necessary, you can ask for advice in order to assist you in your declaration and in the drafting of your register of processing activities and the implementation of security / organizational measures.

If you have any questions relating to this subject, do not hesitate to contact me via the “contact me” section of the blog. or write an email.

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