Use of CCTV on Communities - breach of privacy or not??

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26 Apr 2012 20:53 by promedia Star rating in Cheshire/Riviera del.... 131 posts Send private message

As part of our agm agreed overall security plan for the community, we installed a number of CCTV cameras on gates, garage areas and vulnerable areas of the complex.

This has been a success and problems on the community have reduced, now that owners are aware that vandalism and damage caused by them or their tennants will be billed to them or the evidence handed over to the police.And visible signs around the perimiter fencing have warned off chancer theives and gypsy's.

Last year we had an issue with one or two owners letting their dogs use the community gardens as a toilet late at night when they thought nobody was watching.

A couple of extra cameras were therefore installed in the gardens, the particular owners were notified that if this continued they would be charged for the clean up, the problem stopped overnight.

We have always notified all owners that the CCTV system was in place for their safety and their properties security, only 2 or 3 of the committee have access to the recording system including the president who is UK based and sometimes uses it to monitor the work being done on the community in his absence.

We have now decided that to make the community and gardens even safer a few cameras need to be upgraded and a few more added to the system to cover all the gates, portal entrances and garden areas, where damage occured last summer due to Ball games, which are not allowed in the gardens, but kids are kids!

It was also raised at the last AGM that the community needed CCTV to protect itself against any potential claims from sufferers of accidents happening inside the community, a film of people running around the gardens and pool and falling over and breaking a leg is a lot easier to fight and reject, when they claim they just tripped over a sunlounger or hosepipe!!!

However, following the unceremonious "resignation" of one of our committee members, who wasnt allowed to get her own way, we have received a constant stream of complaints from her questioning every decision the community is making, monitoring all accounts on a monthly basis, asking to see employee timesheets, bills for purchases etc etc, in effect she has become a pain in the butt for our administrators, but has yet to find any fault. However with our AGM looming she obviously has a master plan to try and disrupt the meeting and has been campaigning for proxy votes for the past month, this is not really an issue as she has shown herself to be more of a problem than an asset, and is not getting the support she expected.

Her latest move was to request the following be added to the agenda for the AGM - it arrived a day late, so will be covered in AOB

I hereby kindly request that the following item be included in the official agenda for the AGM of May 2012:


· Data Protection Laws with regard to CCTV


This request is based on the additional CCTV cameras that have been installed over the last year and the Spanish and European privacy laws governing these.

Our request for help is: without instructing our lawyers to establish and present a case based on the safety and security aspects for the community, which will cost us time and money, has anyone any knowledge of the Spanish data protection laws and how these are applied to CCTV monitoring. Does she have a point, are there any rules/guidelines we need to follow, any records we should or shouldn't keep, official notification notices for owners and tennants in Lifts and noticeboards.

I have read up on the UK aspect of this which is still saying CCTV cases both in the UK and Europe have still not being contested for breach of privacy laws so presume same will stand for Spain, but i would hate us to be the first community to have to defend this if our wealthy owner decides that they really do want to challenge this for the hell of it.

can anyone offer any advice to us please? 


Ian Cook - Golf Gardens Miraflores - The best place to live on the Costa del Sol

"A day without sunshine is like.................night"

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26 Apr 2012 22:10 by rod Star rating in Uk and Spain. 469 posts Send private message

We EMPLOY a CCTV arrangement at our HOME PREMISES in the UKand my understanding is  that RESEDENTIAL premises do not have to conform with DATA PROTECTION RULES however BUSINESS PREMISES do

A sign WARNING that CCTV is in use and CONTACT DETAILS is required on non RES applications in the UK


i would contact the LOCAL COUNCIL for ADVICE in LA CALA


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26 Apr 2012 22:46 by Jacksonsadmin Star rating in Marbella , Malaga. 78 posts Send private message

Hello Ian;

I am not aware of any case history in the Spanish courts on data protection over the use of cctv  in communities.

I can tell you that the goverment has become very strong on data protection with licences a must or fines up to 30k € in some cases have been publiced.Hence I would establish with a specialist media lawyer the requirement of a data protection Licence. A community falls under the catagory of NIE not CIF in registration so this could have bearing as this means the community is treated as a individual not a company in law.The issue of if you are storing data is also a critical point or are the recordings disposed of daily ?

I would also check with  your community insurance company that you have cover for a claim of this type & what conditions need to met to obtain the cover. IE secure data storage.

F.Parkinson Jacksons Administradores


f.parkinson @

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27 Apr 2012 16:09 by Fighter2 Star rating. 237 posts Send private message


We have CCTV on our large urbanisation installed by the Community of Ownerswe had to obtain a licence and submit to the rules of data protection which are not too officious and the cost was minimal at less than €200.



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27 Apr 2012 19:21 by promedia Star rating in Cheshire/Riviera del.... 131 posts Send private message

Thanks Barry, can you let us know who the licence was obtained from as we are struggling with this one. 

Our large administrators have never had this situation before, and they do have CCTV on a number of their communities??

They are looking into it for us but i think it will take weeks rather than a few days to resolve, what we dont want to do is remove all security and safety from the community, on the voice and knee jerk reaction of one agrieved owner, who would, if that happened become No1 Punblic Enemy on the complex!! 


Ian Cook - Golf Gardens Miraflores - The best place to live on the Costa del Sol

"A day without sunshine is like.................night"

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27 Apr 2012 19:50 by lobin Star rating. 213 posts Send private message

 The following link

will take you to a resolution given by the Spanish Data Protection Agency on videocamaras on Communitities of Owners.  It is in Spanish and too long to translate it here but perhaps you can give it to your administrators and they can summarize for you the main concepts.


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05 May 2012 15:58 by Finisterre Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

Or just use Google Translate for Lobin's link?

I am a lawyer qualified in England, not Spain, so I can't speak for the Spanish authorities but DP compliance in England (which is based on the same EU directives as Spain)  is basically all about consent, confidentiality and informing people of what you are doing, so I wouldn't worry too much even if you do have to comply.

The consent aspect has presumably been complied with via the community vote, the confidentiality aspect might mean you have to write a simple policy saying who is allowed to view the footage and under what circumstances, etc (which might be worth doing anyway), and the informing people has already been done, although obviously you would want to publish the community DP policy I referred to.

I would be willing to bet that that is pretty much all that's required. I don't know about the licences, admittedly, but all I am saying is don't panic about potentially having to comply with the DP laws - they're not toooooo onerous. :-)

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05 May 2012 15:59 by Finisterre Star rating. 26 posts Send private message

(Oh, I guess consent might also mean putting up notices around the CCTV'ed areas saying that filming is occurring and by whom and for what reason, but you may already have those in place anyway.)

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30 Apr 2015 18:15 by anthomo16 Star rating. 96 posts Send private message


My husband and I (President and VP) of our little community, together with two owners went to Maarbella Town Hall where a discussion was taking place by the Police and Lawyers on keeping Communities safe. We were advised by the Police that our CCTV would need to be registered at the Ayumento and with the Police, they did say that there were many communities out there that had CCTV unregistered and that these could not be used in evidence..

I hope this helps.



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03 Feb 2018 12:32 by Gee Gee Star rating. 12 posts Send private message


I noticed this thread is a couple of years old. Our community in Marbella is looking at installing CCTV cameras in our urbanisation for security and to try and control the dog mess and their owners. We were orginally told by our community administrator that this was not possible due to Data protection laws in Spain. However after having read some of the comments it seems it is possible provided we register with the local town hall and Police in Marbella. I would appreciate any up to date comments regarding the installation of CCTV. 



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03 Feb 2018 17:42 by anthomo16 Star rating. 96 posts Send private message

Hi Gee Gee,

We have CCTV around our urbanisation we were not allowed to put it into the pool area tho. It doees cover the rest of our community. We registered it with the Town Hall and the Police. The only people allowed to view the tapes are the President and VP. So if you have any problems take it to them so that they can view the tapes. If it is about dog mess then the President can send an email or letter to the owner or renter advising them that if it happens again the community will put a denuncia on the owner of the dog as it is a health risk. Ifthis is ignored then the Police will come and remove the dog.





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03 Feb 2018 18:13 by Gee Gee Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

Many thanks Mo. For years we have been told that CCTV was not allowed due to Data protection. We will be taking this up with our administrators and hopefully we can proceed with the installation. 


Gee Gee

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05 Feb 2018 13:59 by Gee Gee Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

Hi Mo

We are in Marbella, not sure where your development is? Was it a local company that you used? Would you recommend them?  Could you please explain a little about how the foorage is monitored? I am trying to put together a report to present to the President about the use of CCTV within our community. Any information about the practical side of it would be very helpful. 

Many thanks

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05 Feb 2018 16:22 by IanCook Star rating in Cheshire/Riviera del.... 6 posts Send private message

Hi Gee Gee

I created the original post so thought I would give you an update.

Yes, our administrators have notified the relevant official parties and importantly we have signs up in Noticeboards, in Lifts and across the community stating that the community is CCTV monitored and you are being Watched.!! 

As per Mo's reply, we do not cover the pool, however, we are in discussions about this as this is the area of most concern for holidaymaker accidents or drowning incidents. We have managed to cover the glass doors through the pool surround, so out of hours swimming and unaccompanied children are captured on film.

we only retain the footage for 30days i believe, as most incidents are reported by that period, and only 3 committee members have access. 

Its main use is to deter thieves and those residents and renters from abusing the community premises and we have had some good success in determining who was responsible for malicious damage and dog owners taking pets through the gardens rather than the garages.

It has given the residents a lot more feeling of security as the two adjoining communities to us neither have CCTV so we would like to think any thieves would prefer to go where they are not captured on CCTV.

As an investment for the community, it has paid for itself 10 fold - so push ahead and get it installed.


A meal without wine................. is Breakfast

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05 Feb 2018 16:45 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 4866 posts Send private message

Our CCTV for the past 15 years,  on the main entrances and in the underground garage,  can be viewed by anyone in real time on dedicated channels on the community feed for national TV.
Possibly illegal but seem to have prevented any crimes in that time. 
The prominent warning notice alone may have had a similar effect !


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05 Feb 2018 17:03 by Gee Gee Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

Many thanks John and Ian, your help is much appreciated. I believe we would enjoy the same benefits as you do by installing CCTV at our urbanisation.


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05 Feb 2018 17:19 by Kavanagh Star rating. 158 posts Send private message

Perhaps CCTV signage alone might be sufficient.wink

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05 Feb 2018 18:00 by Gee Gee Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

Many thanks Kavanagh. Apart from improving security we have a problem with dog poo so the main reason we are looking at this is to stop the owners/renters leaving the poo in public areas. If it wasn't real they would soon be aware and ignore them.


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05 Feb 2018 20:46 by Kavanagh Star rating. 158 posts Send private message

Interesting to know what happens when you confront an offending dog owner caught red handed?.

Or are the residents frightened of the offenders.

What will you actually do with the video evidence? Will it have the dogs name and address?

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05 Feb 2018 20:56 by Gee Gee Star rating. 12 posts Send private message

No the owner will be walking the dog so we’ll identify the dog and owner.

Thanks for your help

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