Security cameras in pub toilets can breach the privacy of customers, the privacy commissioner says.
However, a leading hospitality industry body believes filming in toilets can be justified in some cases.
A man had complained to the commission about being filmed using a urinal at a pub by a CCTV camera. The camera overlooked the urinals inside the toilet. When he used the toilet he did not know about the camera, but later saw photos taken by it.
He made the complaint under principle four of the Privacy Act, which states that personal information must not be collected by unlawful means, by means that are unfair in the circumstances, or by means that unreasonably intrude into an individual's personal affairs.
Commissioner Marie Shroff found there was no reason for the camera to be there.
"We considered that a camera placed in the men's toilet area was capturing highly sensitive information in an unreasonably intrusive manner."
The pub manager removed the camera after talking it over with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
It was reasonable to put CCTV cameras in most areas of the pub, with adequate signage, the office said, but not the toilet.
Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Bruce Robertson said the industry body believed cameras in toilets were sometimes justified.
"There could be issues with graffiti or illegal behaviour in toilets. However, the majority of venues will not have a need to film, and most do not."
Office of the Privacy Commissioner spokesman Charles Mabbett said CCTV could provide useful information.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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