Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Argentine Court rules use of webcam lawful

An Argentine Court of appeals has ruled that the use of CCTV in the entrance of building is lawful under the Data Protection Act (Law 25,326) and that an individual has no right to claim damages for the storage of his image.

The plaintiff, an attorney sued the administration of the building alleging that the security organization in charge of the entrance took a photo of him with a web cam when he was entering the premises. But instead of requesting access or opposing the treatment of his personal data under Law 25,326, the plaintiff initiated a claim for damages based on the right to privacy, the right of image and the Data Protection Act. He argued the lack of express consent for the capture of his image.

The Civil Court of Appeals for the city of Buenos Aires affirmed the dismissal of the first instance court. The Court ruled that the requirement of being photographed to enter the building was not unlawful. The administration of the building has enough powers to impose such a requisite. When someone is entering a building with such a requisite, he is waiving his right to privacy. Such situation neither involves the right of publicity (article 31 Law 11,723) because the image was not used in commerce.

Finally, the court said that the Data Protection Act does not applied to this case because the image of a person is not mentioned as personal data under the Data Protection Act, and because the database was not a "register whose purpose was to provide reports" in the sense of Article 1 of the Data Protection Act.

Saturday, June 11, 2005