On 8 January 2021, the Lower Saxony DPA (“the DPA”) announced a fine of EUR 10,4M against a retailer in the electronics sector for video monitoring its employees, in the workplaces, sales rooms, warehouses, common areas, and other places, for over two years without a legal basis.
While the retailer claimed that the purpose of video monitoring its employees was to prevent and investigate criminal offenses, the DPA stated that the retailer should first assess other less intrusive means for achieving such purposes. Among others, the DPA outlined that video surveillance is lawful only if there are justified suspicions against a specific person and only for a limited period of time. In addition, the DPA specified that with such intensive video surveillance, the said employer was massively violating the rights of their employees, and storing the video recordings for 60 days was significantly longer than necessary.
The fine is not yet legally binding, as the retailer has now legally designed its video surveillance and has proven this to the DPA.
The full press release is available here (only in German).