New act to increase opportunities for camera surveillance
The Government is proposing a new camera surveillance act. The permit requirement will be removed in some cases, and it will be easier for the police and municipalities, for example, to receive permits for camera surveillance.
The new act will increase the opportunities to use camera surveillance in places experiencing crime and public disorder problems. It will be simpler and quicker for the Swedish Police Authority and municipalities, for example, to seek and receive permits for camera surveillance to fight crime and increase security in public places. It will also be easier to receive a permit for camera surveillance on trains and at stations and hospitals.
The Swedish Police Authority and the Swedish Security Service will also have the opportunity to use camera surveillance without a permit for a three-month period to counter terrorist crime, serious violent crime and the drug trade, for example. Currently, these agencies may conduct camera surveillance without a permit for a period of one month only.
The proposal means that a permit would continue to be required for camera surveillance by government agencies and certain other operators that conduct activities of public interest, such as schools, health care and public transport.
Fewer operators are covered by the permit requirement
The proposal means that camera surveillance by shops, shopping centres, editorial offices and premises used by religious communities, for example, would not require a permit. Nor would a permit be required for surveillance in connection with hunting or within forestry and agriculture. Privacy will instead be protected by the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation.
The Swedish Data Protection Authority is proposed to be the sole supervisory authority. This is expected to create a more uniform application of the regulations around the country and lead to more effective supervision.
It is proposed that the new act enter into force on 1 August 2018. The Council on Legislation will now review the proposal.
In December 2017, the Government appointed an Inquiry to propose further simplification in relation to camera surveillance by law enforcement agencies. The starting point is that the permit requirement should be removed and chiefly be replaced by a notification requirement. The Inquiry’s remit also includes analysing whether camera surveillance of public transport and stations should be further simplified. The Inquiry is to report its findings no later than 15 August 2018 concerning camera surveillance by law enforcement agencies, and no later than 15 February 2019 concerning public transport and stations.