Dubai: Saudi Arabia has banned the installation of security surveillance cameras in facilities and rooms for medical examination, in-patient rooms, physiotherapy facilities, rooms for changing clothes, as well as toilets, salons and women’s clubs, local media reported.
According to Okaz newspaper, the manufacturing, importing, selling, installing, operating and maintaining of security surveillance cameras will not be allowed without obtaining the required approvals beforehand.
The provisions of the new law shall be applicable to ministries, public authorities and institutions, oil and petrochemical facilities, power generation and water desalination facilities, air tourism facilities, commercial complexes and shopping centres, in addition to financial institutions, banks, money transfer centres and residential buildings, including complexes in residential buildings.
The provisions of the new law will also be applicable to the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the Holy Sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, mosques, clubs, sports facilities and stadiums, public and private cultural facilities, youth centers, as well as public and private recreational facilities, and public and private health facilities.
Other entities covered by the law include medical cities, hospitals and clinics, commercial warehouses as well as on main roads and their intersections within cities, highways that connect cities and governorates, fuel stations and gas sales outlets, public and private educational facilities, and facilities that provide food services.
This is in addition to public transport, event and festival venues, places of economic and commercial activities, public and private museums, and historical and heritage sites that are readied to receive visitors. The Ministry of Interior can include any other site, activity or facility that it deems to be added to the list of facilities that come under the purview of security surveillance cameras.
Those who are responsible to implement the regulations of the law must install, maintain and operate the devices of security surveillance camera systems around the clock, and preserve the recordings. The provisions of the law also stipulate that the recording shall be preserved and that no modifications will be made to it in the event of reporting any specific accident until the completion of the investigation procedures.
A visible board or panels must be placed in the prominent places of the premises showing that they are equipped with security surveillance cameras. The regulations specify their features, numbers and places of installation.
It is prohibited to transfer and publish camera video footage except with the approval of the Ministry of Interior or the Presidency of State Security or based on a judicial order or at the request of the competent investigation authority.
Punitive measures, including fines will be taken against violators of the law. Fines amounting to SR500 will be slapped for violating technical specifications related to installation of each camera; fine of SR1000 for each camera that was not installed in line with the terms and conditions prescribed in the manual.
The penalty will be SR 5,000 in fine for violation of not keeping the video recordings, and SR20,000 fines for anyone who transmits or publishes the video recordings in violation of the provisions of the law or damage or sabotage devices of security surveillance camera systems or recordings.