Privacy chief quits in protest

The head of Greece’s privacy watchdog resigned yesterday in protest at the decision by the police to use closed-circuit television cameras to monitor protesters during Saturday’s march to mark the November 17 student uprising. Another five members of the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (APPD) also quit their positions, claiming the police had «flagrantly violated» the watchdog’s regulations, which require the cameras to be used only for monitoring traffic and not people. The APPD’s outgoing president, Dimitris Gourgourakis, and his five colleagues said in their written statement to Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas and Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis that the police’s use of the CCTV cameras had damaged the watchdog’s independence and prestige. The APPD expressed its opposition earlier this month to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow police to use the cameras to observe potentially violent street protests. Hatzigakis insisted that the police were within their rights to use the cameras.