Ltd (a residental condominium corporation)
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
Office URL: www.oipc.ab.ca Case File Number P1815
07 March 2016
A unit owner of Grandin Manor Ltd., a condominium corporation, (the
Organization) made a complaint to the Commissioner that the
surveillance system installed in the Organization is not in compliance
with the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). He complained that
the Organization has not installed signs notifying individuals of the
extent of surveillance it carries out and the extent to which
surveillance cameras are in use.
He also complained that the
Condominium Board reviews surveillance footage and uses information
obtained from the footage to review bylaw infractions and to enforce
compliance with the condominium bylaws.
Finally, he complained
that the Organization collected his personal information with
surveillance cameras when he scribbled comments on a notice posted in
the elevator and when it used this information to send him a warning
letter about his conduct.
The Adjudicator found that when visitors visit the
condominium they have sufficient notice of the presence of surveillance
that they may be deemed to consent to the Organization’s collection of
personal information for the purposes of maintaining security in the
The Adjudicator found that when the Organization reviewed surveillance
footage for the purpose of deterring the Complainant from scribbling
comments on notices in the future, that it had done so for a purpose
for which PIPA requires it to obtain consent and to provide notice
prior to collection. She required the Organization to cease collecting
and using personal information from surveillance cameras for purposes
other than the obvious purposes for having surveillance unless it first
provided appropriate notice under PIPA of its intention to collect and
use information for these purposes.
So it appears that a condo corporation can use cameras to deter
criminal acts but if it plans to review the video footage to enforce
by-law infractions, then they need to inform the residents of this
intent before doing so.
The only issue in this case that is of interest to condo directors and
management is that the Applicants alleged that the detectives breached Boston’s right to
be free from unreasonable search and seizure by going up to his
condo's residential floor to make observations without appropriate permission
from the property management.
The two defendants were suspected drug dealers and
the cops were onto them.
The crown counsel told the police detective to get verbal permission to
enter the building for
investigative purposes (which he did from the security guard on duty)
and to follow that up with written permission
from the property manager.
That they did, so the police investigating and observing the suspects
activities in the condominium were lawful.