Santa Cruz de Tenerife has released another webcam on the Benijo beach this Tuesday. In addition, the focus of another that pointed to some houses has changed; that of Roque de Las Bodegas. Opposition councilor Tino Guzmán (PSOE) has recalled on his Twitter account that the plane and the current resolution of the camera located at this point are different. A few days ago, he insisted that “beach control, yes, but not in this way” since the data protection law could be violated.
Is it legal to install webcams on the beaches? The inauguration of five in Santa Cruz de Tenerife opens the debate
The consistory has indicated this Tuesday in a statement that it has launched the webcam corresponding to Benijo beach, on the Anaga coast, “since the technical problems registered with the signal have been solved, to which they will be added shortly which will be located on Las Gaviotas beach and on the Añaza pier “.
According to the Department of the Environment, led by Evelyn Alonso, “the cameras comply with the regulations, since they give a panoramic view and the images are broadcast in real time, without the need for custody of the cameras, nor is any recording produced. “. The objective, the note indicates, is “to check directly how the municipality’s coastal areas are located and thus avoid unnecessary travel, especially in these complicated times of pandemic.”
Controversy for its legality
The installation of these cameras has caused controversy in recent days due to its legality. The system is used in other web portals and is a widespread practice on the world’s beaches, but it must meet a series of requirements so as not to conflict with the Data Protection Law. In particular, the doubt fell on the cameras that focused on homes and whose focus has been modified with respect to what was appreciated last Friday.
“Three days later they have already had to modify the plane they were emitting and lower their resolution. It is a band-aid to cover a hemorrhage, but it confirms what has already been said,” said Tino Guzmán on his Twitter account.
“The capture of images from the public thoroughfare of identified or identifiable persons and outside a strictly personal or domestic scope is reserved, exclusively, to the State Security Forces and Bodies for the purposes of video surveillance, in accordance with the provisions in Organic Law 4/1997 ”, is what the current regulations set out. However, the Spanish Agency for Data Protection in the documentation sent to this newspaper when raising this matter, has indicated that it would be outside the scope of the law as long as it involves images of landscapes or beaches that do not allow identifying people.
Likewise, the current Guide on the use of video cameras for security and other purposes, establishes that “the General Data Protection Regulation would not be applicable when the images show a general panorama of a beach in which it is not possible to identify people, as would be the case when the objective of the images was to show the state of the waves to provide information to surf fans about the conditions for the practice of this sport ”.