Among another 40 JDW sites, the Five Swans, Newcastle, has cameras in the “common areas” of the toilets, claiming the view does not reach inside the cubicles or urinals.
JDW spokesman Eddie Gershon told the Morning Advertiser: “Sorry the lady is upset, but Wetherspoon has the right to put them up and does so for security reasons.”
However, the cameras made the customer feel her privacy had been invaded.
She told Metro: “It is a total invasion of privacy. If it is on or not, it shouldn’t be positioned where it was, as you can see it from inside the cubicle and it just makes you feel uncomfortable.
“You just feel that if you can see if from inside the cubicle, which I could, then it can see [into the cubicle].”
The Information Communications Office (ICO), the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights, said cameras set up in places where people have a heightened expectation of privacy should only be used in the most exceptional circumstances, where it is necessary to deal with very serious concerns.
An ICO spokesperson said: “In these cases, you should make extra effort to ensure that those under surveillance are aware that they are being recorded and that appropriate restrictions on viewing and disclosing images are in place.”
Wrong to say
However, JDW claims the cameras were unable to view inside the cubicles and signage was put up making customers aware of the communal cameras.
Gershon added: “They only show the common areas, like the hand-washing areas – not the cubicles or the urinals.
“So, it is wrong to say the cameras are in the toilets as such, but in the toilet area. People can complain but we are allowed to do this and do so.”
Gershon goes on to add that there are a total of 40 pubs also currently using cameras in the same area and will be added in all new pubs and refurbished pubs.