Employment & Labour


Recording cameras in the workplace has become a common practice in today’s business world. However, this practice raises a range of legal, ethical, and practical issues for both employers and employees. The responsibilities imposed by the legislation regarding the recording of cameras in the workplace should be taken into consideration by employers and employees. This in-depth analysis will address the legal basis of camera recording in workplaces, its impact on employee rights, and the ethical assessment of these practices.

  1. Legal Basis and Legislation: Legal Foundations of Camera Recording in Turkish Workplaces In Turkish law, camera recording has been made compulsory for some workplaces. While there are no prohibitory provisions for workplaces not covered by the law regarding camera recording, judicial decisions have set certain conditions for the protection of personal data and the privacy of private life for workplaces with camera recording. In terms of camera recording in workplaces, various aspects should be considered in light of the recent decisions made by the Personal Data Protection Board, Court of Cassation, Council of State, and the Constitutional Court. The Personal Data Protection Law (KVKK) introduces obligations such as the lawful processing of personal data, accuracy and currency of data, processing for specific, clear, and legitimate purposes, data processing proportionate to the purpose, determination of the retention period, and ensuring the security of personal data. In this context, camera recording in workplaces must strictly adhere to the principles prescribed by the KVKK. In this regard, the legal basis and legislation for camera recording in workplaces are quite complex, and it is crucial that camera recording practices in workplaces do not violate the right to privacy of employees and comply with legal regulations.
  2. Informing and Consent: Employee Information and Approval Process Camera recordings made in the workplace should not be secretive, and they should be made openly. Employers are obligated to clearly inform their employees about camera recording applications. This process should be conducted transparently, openly, and accurately. Inadequate or misleading information can have serious legal consequences for employers. From a KVKK perspective, a detailed information text should be prepared to inform employees clearly and comprehensively about camera recording. This information should include details such as the areas where camera recording is performed, the duration and location of storage, the purpose and legal basis of camera recording, where the recorded individuals can apply within the workplace, and the rights they have under the KVKK. The burden of proof that informing has been done rests with the employers, so the obligation of informing can be done in any way that can be proven. For instance, the prepared information text can be posted in places where employees can see, published on your website with barcode links inside the workplace, or individual signatures can be obtained from employees. Additionally, methods such as adding a section in employment contracts indicating that camera recording is in effect and hanging warning posters in the workplace can be used.
  3. Audio Recording and Privacy Simultaneously recording both video and audio is considered a violation of privacy and personal data protection rights. In general, recording video alone is usually considered sufficient. Therefore, employers need to evaluate whether recording audio constitutes an infringement on the privacy of employees. If the purpose of camera recording in the workplace can be achieved with video recording alone, recording audio in addition to video may be deemed an unlawful data processing activity. For example, in cases where workplace security needs to be ensured, such as preventing theft or workplace accidents, it is generally accepted that video recording alone is sufficient according to the KVKK and decisions of the Court of Cassation. Privacy is one of the fundamental rights of employees even in the workplace, and therefore, the scope of camera recording in the workplace should be limited to a certain extent. When making camera recordings, it is essential to ensure that the camera does not directly monitor employees’ movements, computer screens, or behaviors. The use of camera recording must be justified by legitimate purposes such as maintaining workplace and employee security and ensuring occupational health and safety.
  4. Data Security: Protecting Camera Recording Data and Measures Against Unauthorized Access Ensuring the security of camera recording data is of paramount importance for employers. These data should be processed in accordance with legal regulations and made accessible only to authorized individuals. Whenever possible, camera recording data should be encrypted and stored on secure servers. Moreover, it is essential to take measures to prevent unauthorized access to the stored camera recordings. Employees should be trained on data security and informed about best practices when working with camera recording data. Employee awareness plays a significant role in preventing internal threats. Employers should regularly verify that their camera recording practices comply with the current legislation, promptly respond to regulatory changes, and update policies and procedures when necessary. Additionally, camera recordings should be stored for a specific and limited period. In cases where the legislation does not clearly specify retention periods for camera recordings, it is understood that retaining records for 1 to 6 months in line with the KVKK and judicial decisions should be sufficient.
  5. Legal Consequences and Administrative Penalties Employers may face severe sanctions if they do not comply with legal regulations. Camera recording practices that do not comply with the KVKK and other relevant legislation can result in administrative fines. If proper information is not provided, and camera recordings that exceed the principles of necessity and proportionality are taken, they may not be admissible as evidence in legal proceedings. Individuals whose images are recorded can file complaints with the Personal Data Protection Board against the workplace, leading to the imposition of administrative fines. Camera recording in the workplace must be conducted correctly from both a legal and ethical perspective. Employers should inform employees in compliance with regulations, pay attention to data retention periods, and respect the privacy of employees. Otherwise, they may face legal responsibilities.

Recording cameras in workplaces must be done correctly from both legal and ethical perspectives. Employers are obliged to inform employees in compliance with regulations, pay attention to the retention periods of the recordings, and respect employees’ privacy. Moreover, employers are also obligated to adhere to certain basic rules concerning the examination of employees’ email accounts used within the workplace. There are decisions made by the Personal Data Protection Board and the Constitutional Court regarding this matter. You can access our previously published articles on this topic through the link provided at https://cukurpartners.com/tr/12-01-2021-tarihli-anayasa-mahkemesi-karari-kapsaminda-calisanlarin-yazismalarinin-izlenmesi/ on our website.

Atty. Ezginaz ÇALIŞIR

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