On/off rules for cameras

In an attempt to settle a long-running legal dispute over when CCTV cameras can be used in public places and when they should be switched off, the country’s privacy watchdog laid out some guidelines yesterday. Following a request for clarification by the Justice Ministry, the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (APPD) outlined four situations in which it is acceptable for public authorities to use CCTV cameras. According to the APPD, these are: the protection of national security, the protection of state security, the prevention of serious criminal acts against people or property as long as there are serious indications that this could happen and, finally, the management of traffic on main roads or at dangerous points on roads. The APPD was adamant that CCTV cameras should only be used to fight crime if authorities have evidence that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed.

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