True Visions Productions, which unfairly and unlawfully filmed patients at a maternity clinic, has been fined £120,000 by the ICO.
The company set up CCTV-style cameras and microphones in examination rooms at the clinic at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge for a Channel 4 documentary on stillbirths. The walk-in clinic is for patients who have concerns about their pregnancy.
The ICO investigation found that although the company had the hospital trust’s permission to be on site, it did not provide patients with adequate information about the filming, which took place from July to November 2017, or get adequate permission from those affected by the filming in advance.
True Visions Productions had posted limited notices advising of the filming near to the cameras and in the waiting room area and had left letters on waiting room tables. However, the detailed investigation found that these letters did not provide adequate explanations to patients, and one notice incorrectly stated that mothers and visitors would not be filmed without permission.
The ICO said that a patient attending the clinic would not have reasonably expected there to be cameras in examination rooms and would expect to be made aware of any filming. True Visions’ actions were therefore in breach of requirements that personal data be processed fairly and transparently.
Recording stopped following negative media coverage of the filming in November 2017. It then resumed until spring 2018 using different filming techniques and the documentary was broadcast the following October. The unlawfully obtained footage was not broadcast and was deleted. To read the ICO’s press release in full and for a link to the monetary penalty notice, click here.