Dallmeier in Frankfurt

In the case of video surveillance in public places, Data protection remains an important and sensitive issue. Its use must have a legal basis and proportionality, as it generally represents an intrusion into the right to informational self-determination.

Key concept 'data protection': In video projects in public space it is observed again and again, that data protection supervisors are perceived as adversaries and excluded from the decision-making process for a long time for fear of eventual opposition.

However, the data protection officer or the competent data protection supervisory authority, both at the municipal and state level, plays an important role in a democratic society. The sooner it is integrated into the project and planning, Better to communicate 'peer-to-peer'.

Are we talking about the same thing??

For project managers and data protection supervisors to talk about the same things, has proven useful to use 3D simulations in video projects for public spaces that are often available to manufacturers of video security technology.

These illustrative visualizations reproduce the area to be monitored – for example., A public square in an urban center – like a digital twin. In this model, Locations can be accurately simulated, Fields of view and image qualities of individual cameras.

The people involved in the project can see what image quality the cameras provide in each area of the area to be captured. The resolution qualities in turn are defined in the DIN EN standard 62676-4 for video surveillance systems. It distinguishes between various image qualities for different purposes.

In the field of video observation or video surveillance in public space, A pixel density of 250 pixels per meter (px/m), which is almost always sufficient to unequivocally identify the perpetrators in court..

In addition, the 3D model shows where personal or referable data is generated and whether cameras need to be positioned differently so that controllers can handle them in accordance with data protection regulations.

At the same time, It is possible to plan the use of additional data protection measures. These include the pixelation and blackening of entrances to residential and commercial buildings., storage of images for a limited time or special access rights, For example, for public transport companies as secondary users of the video system having only access to the overview images of the cameras.

No data security no data protection

In addition to technical and organisational data protection measures, Data protection itself should not be ignored, For example, against unauthorized access or loss.

That's why, the GDPR sets the aspect of data security in the article 32 "Security of processing" with the requirement of "security by design".

Since video systems are repeatedly targeted by cyberattacks with which hackers either leak video recordings or gain access to company or organization networks, Only video solutions with adequate security features should be used. These include the physical separation of the cooperative and video networks., An end-to-end encryption that can be activated, Enforcing strong passwords or strong procedures for network authentication.

In view of the geopolitical situation, it becomes clear that more and more cities and municipalities are opting for video systems developed and manufactured in Germany or Europe under the conditions of a democratic state and the rule of law..

Useful checklists and best practices

In order to support companies and public bodies in providing legal guidance, Official data protection authorities, as the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (Aepd) or the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), offer on their websites useful guides and guidelines for the use of video security systems.

It may also be worth asking manufacturers and suppliers of video security technology for more information or guides for video projects in public spaces..

Conclusion: A complex topic, but manageable

Data protection is, surely, as old as video technology itself. But with high-resolution cameras, Different laws and current case law, The thematic scope of video surveillance in public space is perhaps more complex than ever.

Through 3D simulations of useful projects, Innovative technologies and the application of good practices, The complexity of the subject can, in general, Handle yourself well. In this way, The security of each individual and data protection or the right to informational self-determination in the public space can be reconciled.

Jurgen Seiler, davidiT managerJorgen Seiler

davidiT Manager, Consulting subsidiary of Dallmeier Electronic



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By • 20 Apr, 2023
• Section: Grandstands, Video surveillance