Some hidden cameras are justified, says privacy watchdog

Using detection methods such as hidden cameras to uncover benefit fraud is permissible in some instances, according to the Dutch privacy watchdog CBP.

If all other methods of detection have failed, the use of hidden recording equipment is acceptable, CBP chief Jacob Kohnstamm told the Telegraaf on Friday.

‘To avoid misunderstandings, these unorthodox methods are acceptable in exceptional circumstances,’ he told the paper.

Kohnstamm also thinks checking water usage to estimate how many people are living in a house should be allowed, although it should not become standard procedure.


‘Where there is a strong suspicion of benefit fraud and it has not been possible to find evidence using the normal methods, then hidden cameras could be an effective solution in individual cases,’ he told the paper.

The CBP, which has always been strongly against detection methods that infringe privacy, was reacting to recent suggestions from the social affairs ministry on how to prevent benefit fraud.


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