A debate about the use of forest cameras has erupted after an unnamed Austrian politician was caught on camera having sex in a forest by a camera fixed up to monitor local wildlife.
Luckily for the politician his blushes have been spared as the pictures have not been released in the Austrian province of Carinthia.
But now an investigation has been launched to check the legality of the cameras and whether people need to be warned they are in operation in these places.
The cameras are mounted on trees and take an automatic picture when they detect movement. The cameras as well as being used by hunters are also used by nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Freydis Burgstaller- Gradenegger, lawyer and manager of the Carinthia hunting society, said: “I cannot say for sure how many cameras are up in operation in forests in Carinthia as they do not have to be registered to us. We have never had any problems with the cameras up until now.”
According to Freydis Burgstaller-Gradenegger the cameras are deliberately placed in places where people are not often seen. They are often in places where people are banned as it is a hunting zone. This is well signposted.
Burgstaller-Gradenegger said: “In theory every camera needs permission to conform with data protection laws.”
Hans Zeger, manager of data company ARGE Daten reinforced that very camera which produces pictures where people can be identified needs to be registered and licensed. The pictures are also not allowed to be published form these cameras.
People published on these pictures could be given up to 20.000 Euros in compensation.