12-15-2017  | Update Data Protection 34 und Digitization 01

Video surveillance in buses and trains

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Permanent video surveillance on local public transportation is permitted if disturbances and criminal offenses of varying intensity occur at differing times over the entire transportation network (Higher Administrative Court [OVG] Lüneburg, September 7, 2017, 11 LC 59/16).

Applicability of the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG)

Legal grounds for the video surveillance is Section 6b (1) Sentence 1 No. 3 BDSG. This also applies to municipal transportation companies organized under private law, for example as an "Aktiengesellschaft" (public limited corporation), and mandated by the Federal State. The standard enables video surveillance if this is required for the purpose of safeguarding legitimate interests.

Enforcement of legal claims justifies video surveillance

Legitimate interests for video surveillance include the civil and criminal-law prosecution of offenders, given a consistently high number of incidents over a period of years, spread over the entire transportation network. Time and location-related peaks are by all means innocuous if serious violations of the law also occur in part.

No predominance of the interests of the passengers

There is currently no technical and organizational alternative to permanent and all-round video surveillance that would be reasonable for the controllers. There is likewise no unjustifiable inconveniencing of the passengers if the video recordings are principally deleted after 24 hours without having been viewed, and are evaluated only in individual cases and subject to access restrictions.


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