Persónuvernd (Iceland) - 2020010587
|Persónuvernd (Iceland) - 2020010587
|Article 2(2)(c) GDPR
|National Case Number/Name:
|European Case Law Identifier:
|Icelandic DPA (in IS)
The Icelandic DPA dismissed a complaint from two data subjects regarding the alleged recording of their house and backyard by the video cameras of their neighbors, after the latter demonstrated that the vision field of these cameras were restricted to their own private property.
English Summary[edit | edit source]
Facts[edit | edit source]
On 30 April 2019, two individuals (the Complainants) filed a complaint with the Icelandic DPA against their neighbors (Y and Z), arguing that the latter had installed video surveillance cameras on their house which were recording images beyond their private property. The Complainants were concerned in particular by the fact that those cameras could be recording images of their own backyard and house.
On 2 May 2019, Y and Z were invited to submit their views to the Icelandic DPA. They explained that the camera in question was a mock-up that could not record any images. After the Icelandic DPA further questioned Y and Z on this camera, the latter admitted that the camera was currently disconnected but that they intended to connect it, and add two additional cameras at least. Y and Z however stressed that they would ensure, at the time of the installation, that the cameras would neither record the public space, nor the private property of the Complainants.
Between October 2020 and August 2021, the Complainants notified the Icelandic DPA that at least four cameras had been installed by Y and Z. Following further requests from the Icelandic DPA, Y and Z provided the Icelandic DPA with screenshots from all their cameras. Those screenshots showed that the field of vision of the concerned cameras did not extend beyond Y and Z's private property.
Holding[edit | edit source]
Given that the processing of personal data by Y and Z was limited to their private property, and did not extend to the public space of the private property of the Complainants, the Icelandic DPA considered that such processing was falling under the household exemption (Article 2(2)(c) GDPR), and that the GDPR therefore did not apply. For this reason, the Icelandic DPA dismissed the complaint.
Comment[edit | edit source]
In line with the case-law of the CJEU, and in particular with Ryneš (C-2012/13), the Icelandic DPA considered that the recording of images by individuals does not fall under the scope of the GDPR when such recording is limited to the private sphere of these individuals, and does not extend to the public sphere. What remains interesting however is that national DPAs - such as the Icelandic one in that case - have the power to investigate whether and to what extent surveillance cameras are recording their surroundings. Hence, data subjects who feel uneasy about their neighbors' cameras are still well advised to file a complaint with their DPA - not necessarily with a view of having their neighbors condemned - but rather to gather information on the field of visions of such cameras.
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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]
The decision below is a machine translation of the Icelandic original. Please refer to the Icelandic original for more details.