Data Protection Inspectorate: No change needed to filming in class rules

Mobile phone.
Mobile phone. Source: DrMedYourRasenn / Pixabay

Estonia's Data Protection Inspectorate (AKI) does not consider a change in the law surrounding filming in schools necessary despite an increase in complaints.

After one recent referral, Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise clarified students may record teachers in necessary circumstances, such as to collect evidence of bullying. However, these recordings should not be made public or shared on social media, she emphasized.

Kadri Levand, a lawyer at the Data Protection Inspectorate, told Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" that more and more recording complaints are being submitted.

The majority are linked to neighbors but there have also been cases where a parent was not happy a teacher filmed their child smoking.

Levand said these complaints are covered by the General Data Protection Regulation which allows exception recordings to be made for personal use.

As far as the law is concerned, if the recording is only for personal use then no lines have been crossed, the lawyer said.

"It very often boils down to an issue of ethics," she said.

Despite the widespread use of smart devices, the lawyer does not think a change to the current law is necessary. Instead, the root causes should be dealt with.

"It's not that students want to film teachers all the time. The real problem is obviously somewhere in this conflict, which has got to the point where [the student thinks] I have to start recording something, perhaps for the purpose of evidence," said Levand.

AK also spoke to Mari-Liis Sults, director of the Tallinn Art High School. She said in such situations the problems may be related to the teacher.

"I think that if situations arise where a student wants to film the teacher, unfortunately, it is a teacher who has failed to engage the student in the lesson and there are discipline problems in the lesson," Sults said.

The school tries to deal with similar problems by creating a dialogue between the student, teacher and a member of the management team.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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