CCTV – video protection at work


Surveillance security cameras in Chicago are now widely used in the workplace. While these tools are legitimate for ensuring the safety of property and people, they cannot lead to placing employees under constant and permanent surveillance. What rules should employers follow? What are the rights of employees?

To remember

An employer cannot install cameras on their premises without defining a target, which must be legal and legitimate. For example, cameras can be installed in a workplace for the security of property and people, as a deterrent or to identify the perpetrators of theft, damage or assault.

What precautions should be taken when installing the device?

The cameras can be installed at the entrances and exits of buildings, emergency exits and traffic lanes. They can also film areas where merchandise or valuables are stored.

They should not film employees on their workstation, except in special circumstances (employee handling money for example, but the camera must film the cashier more than the cashier; warehouse storing valuables in which handlers work).

In fact, in the workplace as elsewhere, employees have the right to respect for their private life.

Cameras should also not film employee rest or rest areas or toilets. If degradations are committed on food dispensers for example, the cameras should only film the dispensers and not the whole room.

Finally, they must not film union premises or staff representatives or their access when it only leads to these premises.

If the images are accessible remotely, from the Internet on your mobile phone for example, you must secure this access.

The possibility of viewing the images on a tablet or telephone should not lead to monitoring employees to make comments on the quality of the work. Remote access must be secured (strong password, https connection, etc.). Finally, the recording of sound, in addition to images, is reserved for specific situations and must only be able to be triggered on the initiative of an employee in the event of an event justifying it (in the event of aggression for example).

Who can view the images?

Only the persons authorized by the employer, within the framework of their functions, can view the recorded images (for example: the person responsible for the security of the organization). These people must be specially trained and made aware of the rules for implementing a video surveillance system. Access to images must be secure to prevent everyone from viewing them.

How long to keep the images?

The employer must define the retention period for the images from the cameras.

This duration must be linked to the objective pursued by the cameras. In principle, this duration does not exceed one month. As a general rule, keeping the images for a few days is sufficient, except in exceptional circumstances, to carry out the necessary verifications in the event of an incident and makes it possible to initiate any disciplinary or criminal proceedings. If such procedures are initiated, the images are then extracted from the device (after recording this operation in a specific notebook) and kept for the duration of the procedure.

The maximum image retention period should not be fixed solely on the basis of the technical storage capacity of the recorder.