Guidelines 03/2019 on processing of personal data through video devices
SECTION 8 STORAGE PERIODS AND OBLIGATION TO ERASURE
120. Personal data may not be stored longer than what is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data is processed (Article 5 (1) (c) and (e) GDPR). In some Member States, there may be specific provisions for storage periods with regards to video surveillance in accordance with Article 6 (2) GDPR.
121. Whether the personal data is necessary to store or not should be controlled within a narrow timeline. In general, legitimate purposes for video surveillance are often property protection or preservation of evidence. Usually damages that occurred can be recognized within one or two days. To facilitate the demonstration of compliance with the data protection framework it is in the controller’s interest to make organisational arrangements in advance (e. g. nominate, if necessary, a representative for screening and securing video material). Taking into consideration the principles of Article 5 (1) (c) and (e) GDPR, namely data minimization and storage limitation, the personal data should in most cases (e.g. for the purpose of detecting vandalism) be erased, ideally automatically, after a few days. The longer the storage period set (especially when beyond 72 hours), the more argumentation for the legitimacy of the purpose and the necessity of storage has to be provided. If the controller uses video surveillance not only for monitoring its premises but also intends to store the data, the controller must assure that the storage is actually necessary in order to achieve the purpose. If so, the storage period needs to be clearly defined and individually set for each particular purpose. It is the controller’s responsibility to define the retention period in accordance with the principles of necessity and proportionality and to demonstrate compliance with the provisions of the GDPR.
122Example: An owner of a small shop would normally take notice of any vandalism the same day. In consequence, a regular storage period of 24 hours is sufficient. Closed weekends or longer holidays might however be reasons for a longer storage period. If a damage is detected he may also need to store the video footage a longer period in order to take legal action against the offender.