Saudi Arabia: Cameras to be Banned in Medical Checkup Rooms

Saudi Arabia News developments

Saudi Arabia: Cameras to be Banned in Medical Checkup Rooms

Saudi Gazette, 6 October 2022: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has approved a Law banning the installing of cameras in medical checkup rooms.

The installation of cameras will also be banned in inpatient rooms, physiotherapy facilities, rooms for changing clothes, toilets, salons and women’s clubs.

Surveillance cameras must be fixed or mobile and must not include cameras that individuals install in private residential compounds.

Under Article 5 of the relevant Law, manufacturing, importing, selling, installing, operating or maintaining security surveillance cameras is not allowed without the appropriate approvals being obtained first.

The Law will apply to Ministries, public authorities and institutions, oil and petrochemical facilities, power generation and water desalination facilities, air tourism facilities, commercial complexes and shopping centres.

It will also apply to financial institutions, banks, money transfer centres and residential buildings, including complexes in residential buildings.

In addition, they will apply to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the Holy Sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, mosques, clubs, sports facilities and stadiums, public and private cultural facilities, youth centres and public and private recreational and health facilities.

They will apply to medical cities, hospitals and clinics, commercial warehouses and main roads and their intersections, highways connecting cities and governorates, fuel stations and gas sales outlets, public and private educational facilities and facilities providing food services as well.

They will also apply to public transport, event and festival venues, places of economic and commercial activities, public and private museums and historical and heritage sites that receive visitors. The Interior Ministry can include any other site, activity or facility it considers appropriate to add to the list of facilities which fall within the purview of security surveillance cameras.

Those responsible for implementing the law must install, maintain and operate security surveillance cameras around the clock and preserve recordings. The law also states that the recording should be preserved, and no modifications will be made to it if reporting any specific accident until the completion of the investigation procedures.

The devices covered by the law are classified as high-sensitivity entities or facilities which must directly connect to their security surveillance camera systems, medium-sensitivity destinations, facilities or properties and low-sensitivity destinations and facilities which do not require links to the operating room.

A visible board or panels must be placed in a prominent place on the premises showing they are equipped with security surveillance cameras.

The regulations specify their features, numbers and places of installation.

It is illegal to transfer and publish camera video footage except with the approval of the Ministry of Interior or the Presidency of State Security, in line with a judicial order, or at the request of the relevant investigation authority.

Those who do not comply with the Law will be fined.

Those who violate technical specifications for installing each camera will be fined 500 Riyals. A fine of 1,000 Riyals will be imposed for each camera not installed in line with the terms and conditions prescribed in the manual.

Failing to keep video recordings will lead to fines of 5,000 Riyals being imposed, and anyone who transmits or publishes the video recordings in violation of the law or damages or sabotages devices of security surveillance camera systems or recordings will be fined 20,000 Riyals.

The Ministry of Interior, the Presidency of State Security and the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority will be responsible for implementing the Law of Security Surveillance Cameras.

They will determine the mandatory deadline for installing cameras and security monitoring devices by each category covered under the Law.

Also reported in Okaz on 5 October 2022. For the full story, click here.

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Benjamin Filaferro