CCTV in KirchbergA security company had access to the images of a hotel
LUXEMBOURG – Two problems have been reported in a police CCTV area in Kirchberg. The entrance to a hotel was in the field of view of a camera.
“Not only the Kirchberg conference center (ECCL), but also the entrance to the Mélia hotel is filmed, and instead of the police, a private security company consults the images”, chokes the MP Pirate Marc Georgen. Two problems have been reported in the ECCL’s Visupol (Video Surveillance for Police Purposes) video surveillance area, as acknowledged by Henri Kox, the Minister of Homeland Security, in a parliamentary response.
How come a private security company had access to the footage of the hotel entrance? Henri Kox explains that the owner of the ECCL could, in parallel with the police, use the cameras for the “safety of users as well as the prevention of accidents”, within the framework of article 10 of the law Informatique et Libertés of August 2, 2002. “Art. 43bis of the law of July 18, 2018 on the Grand-Ducal police stipulates that the existing Visupol zone must be reassessed and authorized, notes the minister. During this reassessment, the police noticed that the footage was also being viewed by a private security company. She drew attention to the problem, so the self-monitoring worked.”
Regarding the camera, Henri Kox indicates that the entrance to the hotel was “in his field of vision” and that the establishment was “not specifically filmed or targeted”. In order to solve the problem, the authorities did not modify the field of vision but placed a digital masking at the level of the entrance of the hotel (see below), as foreseen by the Visupol regulations for private spaces. The problem was solved “July 15” last.
For the future, the Minister explains that it is necessary to analyze which cameras in the “ECCL” zone can be used, for what purposes, and how the distribution of tasks and responsibilities can be framed. “The technical solution, whether one can use one and the same camera for two purposes or whether it is not easier to set up two completely separate systems, is being examined by the police,” he said. Several working meetings have been convened between the actors concerned during this summer”.
As a reminder, the Chamber of Deputies voted in July 2021 the bill aimed at regulating video surveillance in Luxembourg. The objective? “Set strict rules” for the use of images by the police and “determine the purposes of use of the cameras”, indicated the Ministry of Homeland Security, specifying also that “the cameras can in no way replace the police presence physical”.