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Spain: Grand Chamber opens hearing on supermarket covert video snooping on employees

A Grand chamber hearing is now underway into the covert video surveillance of a Spanish supermarket chain’s employees, under suspicion of workplace theft.

European Court of Human Rights are now listening to legal arguments  in the case of López Ribalda and Others v. Spain (applications nos. 1874/13 and 8567/13).

In its chamber judgment of 9 January 2018, the European Court of Human Rights held, by six votes to one, that there had been a violation of Article 8 of the convention.

The chamber found in particular that under Spanish data protection legislation the applicants should have been informed that they might be placed under surveillance, but they had not been.

It also found that the domestic courts had not struck a fair balance between the applicants’ privacy rights and the employer’s property rights. However, it held that there had been no violation of Article 6 § 1, finding that the proceedings concerning the applicants’ dismissal had as a whole been fair.

As regards the first applicant’s last complaint, the Chamber found that it did not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention or its Protocols.

On 28 May 2018 the Grand Chamber Panel accepted the Government’s request for a referral.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) was granted leave to intervene in the written proceedings as a third party.

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