The office of the Data Protection Commissioner on Thursday said it received several inquiries and complaints regarding the legality of installing and operating closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems in private kindergartens.

“On the one hand, kindergarten administrations are obligated to ensure the protection of their property,” a statement released by the office said.

“On the other hand, they have a duty to safeguard the privacy of children and employees.”

The statement then went on to explain that CCTV systems are legally allowed to operate at entrances and exits of kindergarten premises, as well as in adjacent private parking areas.

However, they are not allowed to operate in indoor spaces, classrooms, common areas, such as corridors and kitchens, as well as in toilets and playgrounds.

It also added that, depending on the circumstances, the operation of CCTV systems outside the kindergarten’s operating hours might be allowed, provided that it does not compromise the privacy of any individual.

“Furthermore, personal interactions cannot be recorded on CCTV, even with the consent of the employees of the kindergartens, as it cannot be presumed that such consent was given freely, due to the power imbalance between the employer and the employees,” the statement added.

Finally, it also explained that recording sound at kindergartens is also not allowed under any circumstances, “as it excessively interferes with the privacy of the data subjects.”