On 5 July 2023, the Romanian DPA announced that it had issued a warning to Autoritatea Nationala pentru Protectia Consumatorilor (i.e., the national consumer protection authority, “ANPC”) for breaching Article 5(1)(a) in relation to Article 6(1) of the GDPR.
The Romanian DPA launched the investigation after receiving complaints alleging that ANPC had breached data protection legislation by processing personal data using body cameras, which were issued to inspectors for use during all inspections. The complaints alleged that the ANPC’s inspectors had been recording inspections for more than six months and, without any consent or supervision, had captured in these images not only colleagues, employees or representatives of economic operators, but also many private individuals, children or adults, in shops, swimming pools, restaurants, bars or salons.
The investigation revealed that since May 2023, ANPC has been processing personal data collected by means of body cameras (name and surname, function/capacity, image, voice and behavior) for the purpose of preparing evidence in connection with inspection operations, without a legal basis and in breach of the lawfulness, fairness and transparency principle.
The Romanian DPA also applied a corrective measure, ordering ANPC to cease any processing of personal data by means of portable devices, such as body cameras, with audio-video recording function, and to delete personal data from the recording system created using such devices.
ANPC has informed the Romanian DPA that it has complied with the corrective measure.
This is not the first time that the Romanian DPA has found such a breach of data protection legislation in relation to the use of body cameras. The Romanian DPA briefly referred to other cases in which it had found a breach in this area by data controllers, such as local police, and noted that the courts had upheld the decisions of the Romanian DPA ordering the cessation of processing and deletion of images collected by local police using body cameras.
See for example here an update we prepared on a similar case.
The press release is available here (only in Romanian).