The Dutch privacy watchdog AP has written to a number of sauna companies in the Netherlands warning them that they should not use security cameras in places where people walk around naked.
The watchdog says it has received ‘multiple signals’ that this is happening in some saunas and gets hundreds of complaints about the use of cameras every year. ‘This includes saunas,’ spokeswoman Merel Eilander told RTL news. ‘That is why we have decided to warn them.’
Filming people who are not dressed is a ‘serious breach’ of privacy and this can only take place in extraordinary situations, the AP said in its letter. Preventing theft and sexual activity are not, the organisation says, sufficient justification.
The maximum fine which the AP can impose on saunas is €820,000, RTL says.
Funeral companies have also been warned not to make recordings of funerals unless they have explicitly been asked to do so.
The AP published its new guidelines for camera supervision on Thursday. ‘In general, camera supervision does breach the personal privacy of those involved,’ said deputy chairman Wilbert Tomesen in a statement. ‘This breach can be serious, particularly if people are aware they are being filmed and spied on.’