Video Surveillance in Armenia

Video Surveillance in Armenia

What’s new?

Armenia’s Personal Data Protection Agency has clarified the principles of video surveillance. Since surveillance invades private life, the data processing entity must justify the need for it and not exceed the established purposes.

What constitutes exceeding the established purposes?

If the entity carrying out the surveillance uses the personal data it acquired not for the purposes of security, or public or national interest, but rather, transfers it to another person or persons, makes it public, and so on, such actions are considered exceeding the established purposes.

Can the video footage be used without the consent of those filmed?

Video surveillance should be implemented only for the purposes prescribed by law, and the video materials cannot be used for other purposes without the consent of the data subject.

Are video surveillance warnings mandatory?

The entity carrying out video surveillance must inform through a visible warning all persons entering the area being filmed about the surveillance. The notice must also contain information informing persons being filmed from whom they can receive the video involving them.

How long can the data be kept?

Video records must be erased within a certain period of time. In terms of the pursued purpose, 24 hours is sufficient for keeping the data. This period may be extended for objective reasons, but in that case, the data security requirements must be stringent.

The recorded data must be kept in a locked and secure area. The loss and the unlawful acquisition of data must be prevented. 

What rights does the person being filmed have?

The person has the right to receive free information on the methods, grounds, and purposes of the surveillance; the list of data surveilled; and the sources to acquire the video; as well as the parties to whom the video can be transferred. The person has the right also to receive a copy of the video, which should not contain the personal data of the other subjects. 

Low resolution and online video — what is right?

Cameras with as low a resolution as possible must be used, avoiding unnecessary personal data processing. Video surveillance transmitting data in real time can be implemented only by persons with special permissions, for example, security officers.

Video surveillance in public spaces.

Video surveillance in public spaces can be carried out only by state bodies, and only when strictly necessary, for example, motivated by national or public security. The entrance, interior, windows, and balconies of residential buildings shouldn’t be filmed.

Video cameras are placed in common areas. Filming is prohibited in recreation rooms, offices, dressing rooms, and toilets. 

Video surveillance in the workplace.

A video surveillance system is installed in the workplace in special cases. The employees must be informed of this. The building entrance and exit, corridors, locations of expensive goods, and storage rooms can be filmed, but not offices. If an employee deals with money, then the cash register, and not the cashier, should be filmed.

Video surveillance in residential buildings, individual apartments, and houses.

First, there must be the written consent of more than half of the owners. Filming the entrance doors and balconies of individual apartments is prohibited. If the owner of an individual apartment made the decision to install cameras in these locations, then it must be only with written consent. 

A person can install cameras in his own apartment or house, for security purposes. The owner of a house has the right to video surveil his property and land, but cannot film outside of his land plot, if he doesn’t have his neighbor’s consent. 

Video surveillance in commercial establishments.

ameras can be installed in commercial establishments’ lanes and locations of products, but prohibited in dressing rooms and toilets.

If an employee’s work is tied to the use of money, then the camera must film the cash register, not the cashier.

Video surveillance in educational institutions.

Cameras can be installed in educational institutions for reasons of protection of persons or property, and to protect minors from harmful effects. The devices can film also the buildings’ exterior, to enforce security in the area.

Filming is prohibited in the institution’s interior courtyard, classrooms, cafeteria, dormitories, gymnasiums, and so on. Only exceptional circumstances justify filming educators and learners.