Car cameras and GDPR

Car cameras and GDPR
16 Január 2019

Car cameras and GDPR

Nowadays, the camera placed behind the windshield of the car becomes almost a necessity. In the event of the occurrence and subsequent resolution of a road accident or a misdemeanor will serve great as evidence and the images taken can save a lot of inconvenience. But it has one catch - if you forget that taking pictures is also subject to privacy, you can get into trouble. Image capture is subject to privacy, so how does GDPR treat cameras in the car?

A camera in the car will serve, but it can also be a problem

The Office for Personal Data Protection issued its opinion on this issue in May and, in accordance with GDPR, it defines the filming of images of other traffic participants. As before, you can provide your footage from the road to the police or insurance company that investigates the accident. However, forget about public publishing and sharing - at least if you don't have enough savings for a fine.

Where to place the camera best?

You can also be fined for a badly placed camera. As a general rule, the camera and its installation elements must not obstruct the driver's view. However, the law does not specify the exact location. If possible, it is best to place the camera in the following locations:

  • the lower edge of the windscreen and the rear of the dashboard,
  • under the upper blackout foil,
  • the rear surface of the rear view mirror so that the camera will be hidden behind it.

What types of cameras GDPR covers?

GDPR only applies to security cameras which:

  • identify persons in public space,,
  • make records,
  • are owned by legal entities - if a private individual wants to protect his house and space by using a camera, this is covered by the Civil Code, not the GDPR.

So many countries, so many customs

There are different rules or exceptions in different countries. So if you are going abroad, it is worthwhile to find out in advance what country's rules apply. In some countries, they're more sensitive to video recording. In particular, be careful if a public person, such as a police officer, gets in your shoot.

In some European countries, one of the requirements is that the camera must be removable. The owner of the equipment must continuously delete the records in order to avoid long-term data storage. Another problem you may encounter is when you have a camera in your car and find yourself in a public place. And if you plan to visit Portugal or Switzerland, keep the camera better on the floor - its use is absolutely prohibited there.

In conclusion, we can state that images from a vehicle are allowed if the record is made privately to protect the rights of the acquirer, that is to say, in the case of prevention.

Conversely, obtaining a footage for commercial purposes or publishing such matter on the Internet may give rise to corresponding sanctions from the Office for Personal Data Protection. Therefore, you may not distribute camera recordings anywhere, and other people's faces or other identifying features should not be recognizable on the video.


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