Monastery CCTV Breach Raises Privacy Concerns in Cyprus

**Investigation Launched into Alleged Illegality of Monastery CCTV Audio Recording**

The Holy Monastery of Saint Habakkuk has found itself at the center of a legal controversy following the widespread broadcast of visual material from its premises, which allegedly includes audio recorded by Closed Circuit Video Surveillance (CCTV) systems. The Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, Eirini Loizidou Nicolaidou, has flagged the inclusion of sound in these recordings as a clear violation of privacy laws.

While CCTV is generally permissible under specific legislative conditions, the Commissioner has been called upon to interpret these laws frequently. However, the rules around audio recording are unambiguous and strictly prohibited. In a statement to Phileleftheros, Nicolaidou emphasized the highly intrusive nature of sound recording via CCTV systems.

The legality of the visual material is also under question, with uncertainties surrounding whether the installation and operation of the CCTV devices complied with legal provisions. The Commissioner has taken proactive steps by requesting the Cyprus Police to provide detailed information on the surveillance setup.

Key points of inquiry include the locations of camera installations, whether they captured public spaces, if they fulfilled their intended security purposes, or if they inadvertently infringed upon third-party rights without consent. Nicolaidou’s office has already dispatched a letter to the police authorities seeking these clarifications, with a response anticipated early next week.

The incident underscores the delicate balance between security measures and personal privacy rights, prompting a thorough review to ensure compliance with data protection legislation. As the investigation continues, the monastery’s use of Closed Circuit Video Surveillance remains under close scrutiny, with potential legal implications for any proven illegality in the visual material collected.

The text discusses the illegal dissemination of visual material from the Holy Monastery of Saint Habakkuk, highlighting that the videos, sourced from Closed Circuit Video Surveillance (CCTV) systems within the monastery, unlawfully recorded sound

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