Guidelines 03/2019 on processing of personal data through video devices
Section 2.3 Household exemption
11. Pursuant to Article 2 (2) (c), the processing of personal data by a natural person in the course of a purely personal or household activity, which can also include online activity, is out of the scope of the GDPR.
12. This provision – the so-called household exemption – in the context of video surveillance must be narrowly construed. Hence, as considered by the European Court of Justice, the so called “household exemption” must “be interpreted as relating only to activities which are carried out in the course of private or family life of individuals, which is clearly not the case with the processing of personal data consisting in publication on the internet so that those data are made accessible to an indefinite number of people”. Furthermore, if a video surveillance system, to the extent it involves the constant recording and storage of personal data and covers, “even partially, a public space and is accordingly directed outwards from the private setting of the person processing the data in that manner, it cannot be regarded as an activity which is a purely ‘personal or household’ activity for the purposes of the second indent of Article 3(2) of Directive 95/46”
13. What regards video devices operated inside a private person’s premises, it may fall under the household exemption. It will depend on several factors, which all have to be considered in order to reach a conclusion. Besides the above mentioned elements identified by ECJ rulings, the user of video surveillance at home needs to look at whether he has some kind of personal relationship with the data subject, whether the scale or frequency of the surveillance suggests some kind of professional activity on his side, and of the surveillance’s potential adverse impact on the data subjects. The presence of any single one of the aforementioned elements does not necessarily suggest that the processing is outside the scope of the household exemption, an overall assessment is needed for that determination.
Example: A tourist is recording videos both through his mobile phone and through a camcorder to document his holidays. He shows the footage to friends and family but does not make it accessible for an indefinite number of people. This would fall under the household exemption.
Example: A downhill mountainbiker wants to record her descent with an actioncam. She is riding in a remote area and only plans to use the recordings for her personal entertainment at home. This would fall under the household exemption even if to some extent personal data is processed.
Example: Somebody is monitoring and recording his own garden. The property is fenced and only the controller himself and his family are entering the garden on a regular basis. This would fall under the household exemption, provided that the video surveillance does not extend even partially to a public space or neighbouring property.