Judgement (Civil Order) of November 7, 2019.

We feel honored for a recent judgement which recognizes a right to privacy claimed by our client which was initially disregarded by the Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (Spanish Data Protection agency) and the First Instance Courts. The perseverance and trust in our legal team were essential to make the right to privacy enforceable before the Tribunal Supremo (Highest Instance Court).

The situation that brought our client to file a lawsuit after being the case dismissed by the AEPD, was not merely substantive or depending of a major or minor sensitivity towards and immission from the neighbor. Quite the opposite, it was a suitable and objective situation to restrict the personal and familiar freedom. It is obvious that one will not behave in a natural way when knowing that there are cameras recording you.

As per the settled case law (Judgement of January 16, 2009), the current decision argues that not being aware that you are being recorded allows the person to behave naturally and in a spontaneous way, that would not be the case in the contrary situation. To sum up, it was treated as an objective situation that, as the appealed judgement, should have been assessed as an obvious obstacle to fully enjoy the right to privacy, since this could only be achieved in a quite situation, not possible because of the existing cameras, since the appearance was identical to the real ones and the placement of one of the cameras created in the claimant the reasonable doubt of being observed while he enjoys his casual daily routine in a private sphere, the usual in a courtyard of a house.

The right of the plaintiff to a quiet and private life, it also comprises the right of not having to be permanent uncertain on the functioning of the camera (is it recording or not), as the external appearance does not allow to recognize it. On top of that, the defendant would always have the possibility of replacing the camera by a real one.

Based on that, the installation of the camera oriented towards the courtyard of the plaintiff cannot be considered as ius usus inocui in the sphere of the neighbor’s relationships, since it was clearly bothering in an objective way and without a reasonable need the life of the plaintiff.