The competent authority for protection data for the German state of Lower Saxony imposed a fine, for infringement of the GDPR, in a local company. The fine is € 10.4 million ($ 12.5 million) and imposed on one laptop retailer for continuous monitoring of its employees for the last two years, without a legal basis.
This is one of the largest fines imposed under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR), not only in Germany but throughout Europe.
The German company is notebooksbilliger.de AG (operates as NBB), an online e-commerce portal and retail chain that deals with the sale of laptops and other IT equipment.
According to the Commissioner for Data Protection (LfD), the company installed two years ago one system (video) in warehouses, sales rooms and common workplaces to detect any suspicious movement, such as thefts products etc.
Experts said that the monitoring system was always active and the logs were stored for up to 60 days in the notebooksbilliger.de database.
The German regulator decided that this is important infringement the rights of German workers.
Continuous surveillance-video recording violates the rights of employees
"We are dealing with a serious case of video surveillance" said Barbara Thiel, head of the regulatory authority.
"Companies need to understand that continuous videotaping violates the rights of their employees".
The German regulator claimed that employees have a right to privacy and that this right cannot be violated because the employer is afraid of committing a theft or other fraud.
"If that happened then we would all be in for a rude awakeningSaid Thiel.
The authority suggested that this system monitoring should not be implemented systematically, but for a short time and only for an employee for whom there are already suspicions.
"Video surveillance is a significant violation of personal rights, because, in theory, the entire behavior of an individual can be observed and analyzedSaid Thiel.
In addition, due to continuous video surveillance, employees are under constant pressure and stress because they are afraid they are doing something that could be judged bad.
The German regulatory authority stated that the laptop seller company is also accused of a second violation of the GDPR, as he recorded them customers while they were trying Appliances in its sales rooms, without their knowledge or consent.
The German sales company laptop does not accept the categories
The CEO of NBB, Oliver Hellmold, said that This makes it a perfect choice for people with diabetes and for those who want to lose weight or follow a balanced diet. fine and the allegation of employee harassment was unfounded.
"The video surveillance system was not designed to monitor employee behavior or performance. He was not even technically equipped for itSaid Hellmold.
It also claimed that officials did not visit its facilities company during the three-year investigation and that NBB had previously made adjustments to the monitoring system at the request of the office in order to comply.
In addition, Hellmold said that the fine imposed is very large and disproportionate to the size of the company, stressing that the company intends to exercise appeal.
"It is absurd that an authority imposes a fine of more than € 10 million without adequately investigating the matter", he said.