3,000 fine to the bar that viralized the video of the staggering and fall of a councilman

3,000 euros fine for spreading on WhastApp the video of a customer who gets up wobbly from the bar table and finally falls. It is the fine that has put the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) to the owner of the establishment, located in a town of Almería, after the images captured by their security cameras went viral in the messaging app, were shared on social networks and even published on the website of a local newspaper.

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“The dissemination of such images caused damage and harm to both the honor and image of the claimant, as well as that of his family, being a small town in which he is well known,” states the claim filed by the protagonist before the AEPD. The events occurred in the summer of 2020 and all the neighbors who saw him were able to identify him. The reason is that the man is deputy mayor of the town and has been accused of transfuguism for not supporting a motion of censure presented by his former party, which he left to go to the ranks of the mayor.

The AEPD recalls in its resolution, published Tuesday, that the images from surveillance cameras can not be used for a reason other than security. “The purpose of a video surveillance system is the security of private property and dwellers against external aggressions,” he says. Therefore, it points out as an infringement of privacy laws the fact that they have been “used to disseminate an event occurred inside the establishment, which has nothing to do with alleged criminal conduct, through a WhatsApp group, as well as by other means of dissemination of a public nature”.

“It is accredited”, continues the agency, “that there has been a treatment of the data of the affected with a spirit of zaherir using the images obtained from the camera system installed in order to affect the honor of the same disseminating images of the claimant that could affect his public reputation”.

Criminal case

The dissemination of the recording of the fall of the councilman went viral after the presentation of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the premises. This ensures that the same day the councilman had threatened to close the bar taking advantage of his position as councilman of Urbanism in a discussion that occurred in the establishment itself.

The purpose of a video surveillance system is the security of private property and the inhabitants against external aggressions.

Spanish Data Protection Agency

The owner of the bar, brother of the opposition leader, filed a criminal complaint against the deputy mayor. A court of instruction opened preliminary proceedings and has summoned to testify to both, as reported by the local media Almería Hoy, which published a recording of the discussion in which the accused is heard to refer to his position as councillor for urban planning and that it will “sink” the local.

In the AEPD proceedings, opened in January 2021, the owner of the bar has not presented any allegations. Nor when he was notified of the proposed resolution with the fine of 3,000 euros for violating data protection regulations, on July 27.

Given this procedural silence, the agency has made the decision firm and reminds the owner of the premises that he has until October 20 to pay it. “In accordance with the evidence available in this sanctioning procedure, it is considered that the defendant has proceeded to publicly disseminate the images obtained from the video surveillance system under its responsibility without just cause,” concludes the AEPD.

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