Review of laws and other regulations governing surveillance


To map out characteristics of laws governing surveillance – in particular those governing CCTV systems, databases and data-mining, social network analysis, RFID and geo-locations and the use of automated systems tracking financial movements – and identify lacunae/new safeguards as well as best practices



Description of work

This WP will expand on the work already carried out in the SMART project (which is largely restricted to smart or automated forms of surveillance), by extending the focus of surveillance to the technologies and systems covered in this project.  WP6 in the SMART project would have identified: a. legal requirements for smart surveillance; b. carried out an examination and analysis of responses to surveillance in other areas of law; and WP7 in SMART would have carried out a review of laws governing interoperability and data exchange between police/security services.

Task 9.1         Legal requirements for surveillance

This sub-task will focus on legal requirements governing CCTV systems, databases and data-mining, social network analysis, RFID and geo-locations and automated systems tracking financial movements.  The aim of the analysis of the existing legal framework is to establish the extent to which police and security forces in participating member states are required to observe regulations in the use of these surveillance technologies.

This task will be mainly carried out through the legal analysis of legislation, regulatory, self-regulatory and co-regulatory instruments and case law.

Task 9.2         Examine and analyse responses to surveillance in other areas of law

The work package will also examine the theoretical foundations and practical implementation of surveillance in other areas of law. Examples of best/good practice will also be identified. A comparison with other areas of law where surveillance is involved will help to develop concrete suggestions of how to respond to the challenges identified in the earlier work packages.

More specifically, this WP will:

  • Examine the theoretical foundation and practical implication of surveillance in other areas of law, (including interception of communications, video-surveillance, stake-out surveillance) as well as those areas currently addressed by a number of European civil codes dealing with image-capture in public and private places, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the constitutional law of a number of EU states.
  • Identify ‘obvious’ and ‘hidden’ limitations to surveillance, and the conditions that spur these limitations.
  • Analyse the different approaches to introducing safeguards (e.g. introduction of prior permission for integration of data, trained operator intervention to over-ride automated decision-making in certain situations, police force internal guidelines etc.)
  • Examples of best/good practice will be identified.

The task will mainly be carried out through desktop research.

Task 9.3         Interoperability and data exchange between public and private sources

This sub-task examines the legal framework for interoperability and data exchange between public and private sources in different EU member states.  In particular, it will examine:

  • What (if any) technical and legal constraints exist for police and security services which may affect the interoperability and transferability of data from/to surveillance technology platforms utilised by private (e.g. public transport companies or retail outlets) or other public sources (e.g. local councils);
  • Whether data transfers may result in a loss or abuse of personal or other information or basic functionalities.
  • Whether there exist important rules which are only embedded in the information systems executing data exchange.

This task will be carried out through in-house expertise, desktop research and interviews with representatives of major police forces and security services.

Task 9.4         Consolidation with SMART WP6 and 7

The aim of this sub-task is to place the findings in this WP in the larger picture of legal requirements for surveillance.

  • Establish common rules with other surveillance measures
  • Establish differences in rules
  • Analyse the suitability of best/good practice identified in other areas of surveillance for the technologies under examination in this project.