Advertising Pillars with A Camera are not Allowed to Film Passersby. Advertising pillars that passers-by with a camera recognisable images cannot do that without explicit permission.
That is what the Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) puts in a letter to the advertising industry, after tips from concerned passers-by. The AP supervises compliance with Dutch privacy legislation, writes Vital News.
Advertisers use cameras in advertising pillars to analyse what kind of people pass by at what times. They are also used to examine how long advertisements will be available to look. Then the ads in the column are adapted to the public.
There are also pillars that work with facial recognition and, for example, show an optician’s advertising to a glasses-wearing passerby.
According to the regulator, the filming of passers-by with an advertising column falls under the processing of personal data.
According to the recent European privacy law AVG, this is not allowed without the express permission of the passer-by.
The AP proposes some possibilities where advertisers can request permission for the use of a camera pole. For example, according to the regulator, a QR code could be added to complaints, whereby the camera only starts when a passer-by scans the system.
Another example is a corresponding app that shows with location determination that the user stands in front of the billboard. In the app, users can then give their permission for camera recordings.
There is also a provision in the GDPR concerning “legitimate interest” in the use of personal data.
According to the AP, however, camera recordings from a private company in the public space do not quickly fall under legitimate interest.
Without the consent of the user, the camera of advertising piles may not make recordings by default.
Columns that cameras only use to count the number of passers-by can, according to the regulator, better switch to an infrared camera. Also, faces could not record.
In 2017, the AP started an investigation into advertising pillars with cameras at NS stations.
Even then, the regulator stated that cameras could in principle only be placed in public places by municipalities and the police.