04 Aug How long security records should be kept?
In this article we are going to try to answer a fundamental question in any company that handles security recordings: How long security records should be kept? But first we will make a brief introduction to limit what we understand by video surveillance, especially when we talk about security in companies.
What is a video surveillance system for?
Currently, security in industrial buildings and shopping centers is mainly based on video surveillance. Through different types of cameras we have a visual control of what happens in the facilities. These cameras can be monitored by an external security company or by their own security team.
Video surveillance serves to have eyes in all corners of the facilities that we need to control, but also to record everything that these cameras collect. These recordings, which can serve as evidence to report a crime or to detect and prevent possible security breaches, have a specific legal treatment that we will explain below.
But video surveillance doesn’t just serve to prevent thefts or to document them and then go against intruders. Currently, they play a very important role in other fields such as:
- Remote access control: it is no longer necessary to have a security guard at the entrance gate of our facilities. Thanks to video surveillance cameras we can control who wants to enter our facilities and we can give them access or not as appropriate. In addition, video surveillance cameras can be completed with other security systems such as facial recognition to automate access control.
- Industrial security: there are production processes in which it is very difficult or expensive to maintain the physical presence of workers. Thanks to the cameras we monitor the operation of machines, pipes, among others, controlling what may be failing at a certain moment.
- Worker safety: video surveillance has also become an important ally of workplace safety. There are jobs in confined or remote spaces where it is convenient to remotely support workers, either to give them directions or instructions, or to be able to support them when an accident occurs.
- Control of working hours: with video surveillance we can also control the physical presence of workers in their work centers, graphically documenting the hours of entry and exit from factories.
- Car license recognition: it is a very interesting function that video surveillance can provide for some years. The cameras can not only see who enters and who leaves, but also read vehicle and truck license plates automatically, registering entries and exits. They can also open or close doors if the vehicle is licensed. This recognition system is used in car parks to record the entry and exit times of vehicles. In mines and quarries, for example, they are used to keep track of truck accesses, controlling production in an automated way.
- Support in emergency situations: This aspect is very important in the case of chemical plants or large factories. If catastrophes such as gas leaks, fires or floods occur, thanks to the use of especially resistant cameras, emergency teams can have valuable information to tackle the crisis or save lives. In these cases, it is very important to take into account the degree of IP protection in security cameras, which should not be confused with IP video surveillance protocols. The degree of IP protection refers to the resistance of the camera against external conditions such as rain, dust or fire, all in accordance with the tests established by the international reference standard (IEC 60529).
IP video surveillance
The current video surveillance is very far from the closed television circuits of the 80s and early 90s. They are a combination of these video surveillance cameras with modern Internet communication protocols IP (Internet Protocol). Thanks to the internet, we can have isolated and remote cameras without the need for cabling because all the information is transmitted through the network. They can also be managed and redirected from a web application.
This protocol facilitates access to camera recordings that are stored in the cloud and live surveillance from a connected computer.
IP protocols convert the images obtained by the cameras into data that is stored by computer on hard drives or in the cloud, and not on analog media as in the past.
The computerization of video surveillance has allowed other data management applications such as facial or license car recognition to be used.
What is the use of the recording archive?
The recording file may be useful for security reasons. Suppose you have accessed our facilities without permission. Thanks to the recordings of our cameras, we can know who it was or try to find out, because we will have a proof.
But recordings can have other uses beyond chasing thefts or intrusions. Regarding industrial safety, they are useful for the investigation of accidents. The same is true in traffic management.
On the other hand, recordings can be used to analyze and improve production processes. We see how a certain machine works, and that gives us information to correct possible breakdowns or improve its production.
How long security records should be kept?
With the recording of personal images we can be violating the rights to the protection of privacy and the own image that any citizen has and that our Constitution contains.
There are some legal limits that have been developed by the Organic Law on Data Protection (LOPD) and by the European Regulation on Protection of Personal Data. Let’s use the cameras to control the safety or behavior of our workers, we have to comply with this important regulation. The central idea behind this legislation is to establish clear limits so that security is compatible with privacy.
Therefore, it is generally prohibited to record public spaces such as streets, unless it is strictly necessary for security reasons. If so, there must be a corresponding warning, which is the typical sign that we see at the door of banks and other public facilities.
There can also be no security cameras in changing rooms.
Image recordings can be stored for a maximum period of 30 days, unless there are special circumstances such as a police or judicial investigation. In these cases the recordings can be evidence for the investigation and that period can be extended.
Video surveillance has a double aspect, legal and technical, as we have seen in this article. When making a video surveillance installation, we have to resort to specialized and authorized companies, because if we cannot find a poor installation from a technical or illegal point of view.
We hope we have resolved your concerns about how long I should keep security recordings. Any questions or further information, contact us.