Swedish DPA bans housing co-op from using video surveillance 

The Swedish Data Protection Authority (DPA), Datainspektionen, has fined a co-operative housing association 20,000 Swedish kronor and banned it from using video surveillance. 

After receiving numerous complaints claiming a co-operative housing association was monitoring the public stairwell in the association’s apartment building, the Swedish DPA launched an investigation. 

That revealed the association had four cameras installed, two located in the stairwell, one in the main entrance, and one directed towards a distribution box in the association’s storage room – all of which were recording video and audio non-stop. 

The DPA noted that by installing cameras in the stairwell, the association could map the habits, visit, and social circle of the residents. 

“The fact that the surveillance is of the residents and their home environment means that it requires very strong reasons for the monitoring to be allowed,” the authority said. 

A co-operative housing association can only monitor a stairwell after demonstrating a need for such video surveillance only very special circumstances – which was not the case here.

The association claimed that the third camera, set up at the main entrance, was to combat vandalism. However, the DPA found there was no need to have video surveillance there. 

The DPA concluded that the fourth camera, directed towards the distribution box, should have been redirected so it didn’t monitor the residents’ storage facilities. 

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