Since video surveillance systems involve the capture of images of individuals, Colombian privacy law must be observed when operating such mechanisms. Therefore, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce issued the publication "Guidelines for the protection of personal data in video surveillance systems" to provide guidance to all individuals and companies using or wishing to use such devices.

The following are key points to consider when using security cameras:

  1. Colombian privacy law must always be observed when using video surveillance systems unless: (i) recordings are made in a purely domestic environment; (ii) recordings have journalistic purposes; or (iii) recording are made for national security purposes.
  2. Pursuant to Law 1581 of 2012, the use of video surveillance systems requires the consent of data subjects, which must be obtained through the means established by the law. Moreover, Colombian privacy law requires the implementation of privacy notices in all monitored areas. In cases where audio recordings are being made, subjects should be informed.
  3. All privacy notices must contain, at least, the following information: (i) contact details of the data controller; (ii) purposes of the processing; (iii) rights of the data subjects; and (iv) information regarding how to access the data controller's privacy policy.
  4. Video surveillance systems should be used for a legitimate purpose, which must be described in the privacy policy.
  5. All recordings must be limited to what is strictly necessary to meet the purposes established in the privacy policy. Recordings of public spaces should be avoided.
  6. The collected images should be kept only for the time necessary to meet the purposes established in the privacy policy.
  7. Data controllers must register the database that stores the captured images with the National Registry of Databases. Registration is not required when the processing consists only in the reproduction of images in real time.
  8. Data controllers must implement adequate security measures to protect all information collected through video surveillance systems.
  9. The collection of images of children and underage youth must be authorized by their parents or legal representatives.

To view the guide click here.

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