Can I be filmed with a camera at school or at work?

Security cameras are not just for watching people at school or work. They have a much more important task. Usually security cameras help solve different cases and to establish the facts.

The use of video surveillance, for example, in schools is allowed:

  • to prevent situations that could jeopardise the safety of students and school staff;
  • to respond to a threat;
  • to protect property.

Surveillance cameras are helpful in solving different types of cases. For example, to monitor the territory at night, but also when it’s necessary to identify a child molester or drug dealer spotted in the area.

During the day, security cameras may be justified, for example, in a children’s camp on a large territory where caregivers are unable to watch everything themselves, or in case children are at risk of injuring themselves (e.g. getting into water alone without asking permission).

Is filming in the classroom allowed? No!

For security reasons, the use of video surveillance during class is not allowed. Classroom monitoring must be handled by the teacher or adult who is with the students.  We can’t consider, for example, petty fights between children or horsing around as potential threats to students’ safety. In some cases, having a camera in the classroom would be beneficial, but in reality, students and teachers should be able to get along safely in the classroom together.

Recordings from security cameras cannot be used later by schools or any other childcare facilities for any other purpose, for example, for identifying smoking students or settling disputes between students, nor can they just be given to anyone who asks.  According to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, the procedure for use of surveillance equipment is provided for in the internal rules of a school.

Compiled by the youth information portal Teeviit based on Data Protection Inspectorate source.

Published in the youth information portal Teeviit in 2021.

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