These days lots of drivers have mounted on the front and rear windows of their cars. They record everything a driver sees or passes on the road, and can be very useful at the time of an incident. The Data Protection Commission has now made it clear that anyone in a dashcam recording has the right for their privacy to be protected. This is a legal responsibility under EU law.
The DPC issued a report on how users of dashcams in private cars can do so without contravening the law. Most importantly, if you're using a dash cam there should be a clearly visible sign or sticker on and/or inside the vehicle, as applicable, to indicate that filming is taking place.
The guidelines state:
"A policy sheet detailing your contact details, the basis on which you are collecting the images and audio of others, the purposes for which the data is being used and how long you will retain it for should be prepared by you and made available on request to anyone who asks for further information. Alternatively, you may provide the information verbally. In the event of an accident, you should advise the other party that you have recorded footage of the accident."
While footage can be retained for purposes of evidence in case of an accident, drivers are instructed to delete footage routinely. They are also obligated to share the footage with anyone who requests it.
"If a person is aware that you have a recording of them, they have a right to access that data. You should be able to provide a copy of their data to anyone who requests it, within one month. You should also avoid sharing the data of other people, which may need to be redacted from the footage."
Publication of dash cam footage presents a further legal risk to whomever is controlling the footage:
"If you are using a dashcam for security or accident liability purposes, you should be aware that the publication of footage, for example on social media platforms, represents a further processing and risks infringing the privacy rights of recorded individuals and data protection legislation."
The DPC has also warned that it has the power to sanction anyone found to be in breach of the law on these matters.
"If we receive a complaint from an individual in relation to a driver operating a dashcam, where for example the driver has refused to give access to the images when requested, or refused to give information about why they are collecting the data, the DPC will look into the issue.