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Video surveillance in pharmacies should be brought into line with the Law “On personal data protection”

28/11/2018

The monitoring conducted by the Personal Data Protection Agency under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia has shown that organisers of pharmacies conduct video surveillance (video or audio-video recording) in the entire hall of the pharmacy in most pharmacies operating in the Republic of Armenia.

Taking into account the fact that, based on the peculiarities of the operation of pharmacies, customers submit biometric data and sensitive personal data under a special category (information on customer's physical, physiological and biological, health condition) to employees of a pharmacy, it is necessary to ensure video surveillance in accordance with the principles of lawfulness and proportionality as prescribed by the Law of the Republic of Armenia "On personal data protection”.

In particular, the cases that will be prima facie problematic are the cases when, for example, for the purpose of ensuring the security of cabinets and/or the cash register, the entire hall, not just the area of the property under surveillance, would be controlled in such a way that customers and their choice of drugs would also be video-recorded or, in parallel with video recording, there would also be an audio recording, or an adequate note or a signboard or other object about video recording would not be available.

Thus, the Agency urges organisers of pharmacies to be guided by the provisions of the Video Surveillance Guide developed by the Personal Data Protection Agency (see here: http://moj.am/storage/uploads/002Video_surveillance_guide.pdf) when installing video surveillance systems in the premises of the pharmacy.

Let us also remind that, according to the requirement of Article 23 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia "On personal data protection”, organisers of pharmacies shall, as prescribed, be obliged to notify the Personal Data Protection Agency about processing biometric data or special categories of personal data (within the meaning of the Law of the Republic of Armenia "On personal data protection”, image/video image of people (in cases of recording or video recording people), or information describing the person's physical, physiological and biological characteristics are considered as biometric personal data and information relating to the person's health is considered as a special category of personal data). The sample of the notice is available at:http://www.moj.am/announcements/view/article/122?fbclid=IwAR2GQDc2H_WuqxBEBQZgCe4SsgwDX4FLd4GR4BzCMCNzBbw_sUEFvjKP16g

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