Office for Personal Data Protection (GPDP) Director Chan Hoi Fan said Monday that the government is encouraging businesses and civic associations to tell the office if they have installed security cameras on their premises.
Chan made the appeal at a press conference about her office’s campaign this year which aims to raise public awareness of personal data protection, including six public lectures next month and in June on handling such data.
She said the reason her office was only encouraging, rather than forcing, private entities to inform the government about their security camera systems was due to the simple fact that it not mandatory as yet, adding that no laws would be broken if shop or company owners have installed security camera systems without notifying the office.
“We currently don’t have a deadline for this, but we hope that companies take the initiative to declare that they have set up security cameras,” Chan was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying, adding that her office will investigate if they receive complaints from citizens claiming that their privacy has been violated. “We don’t rule out the possibility of penalising companies if they are found guilty of such violations.”
She also said that one of the most evident examples of personal privacy violation was the act of posting pictures of individuals suspected of having shoplifted, as she stressed that it is illegal to do this and that shops had been fined in the past, the maximum of which is 200,000 patacas.
Regarding the installation of security systems, Chan said that the maximum number of cameras allowed on a company’s premises is 16, adding that audio recording is strictly prohibited and recordings cannot include places such as residential buildings and medical and religious establishments.
She said that ever since the office has been established, it has received 43 cases of suspected privacy violations, adding that the office is currently investigating 10 cases.(macaunews)