Video cameras are not an invasion of privacy

The Court of Cassation (verdict August 9th 2012 n. 14346) ordained that the only owner of an housing complex is not subject to privacy regulations even when some of its apartments are given on an extended loan or rented out to other people.

The case was about a woman who, after separating from her husband, had been assigned an apartment owned by her father-in-law who lived nearby in the same housing complex. He installed video cameras near the gate and the main door, something the lady didn’t like as she saw it as a privacy breach.

The article 5, paragraph 3 from the legislative decree 196/2005 states that natural people treating personal data for personal purposes only cannot be subject to the privacy regulation above, unless the data is transmitted to someone else.

Therefore in this specific case, the owner is not subject to this regulation, unless he was considered as the flat owner since he owns several apartments in the same complex; the Court, however, excluded this possibility.

Moreover, as far as condominiums are concerned, the regulation is slightly ambiguous and according to some decisions (particularly Varese’s court June 16th 2011 n. 1273 and Salerno’s court December 14th 2010), very strict. As a matter of fact, according to the law, flat owners cannot place video cameras on their own initiative, rather a unanimous approval by everyone would be needed.