10 Insightful Q and A’s – Dash Cams, Business and Data Protection

1st April 2019

Whether it is used to mitigate personal security concerns or having a means to establish liability in the event of an accident, the use of Dashboard mounted CCTV – Dash Cams – in business vehicles has increased over the past number of years. This article details some of the considerations business managers need to consider if they have or are thinking of installing dash cams into their fleet.

Do the images of individuals recorded on our dash cams constitute personal data processing?
Yes. If your dash cam records people on the public road, licence plates or (in relation to inward facing systems) company employees this constitutes the processing of personal data.

I use dash cams in my company vans or lorries in case of an accident, what practical steps should I do to comply with the GDPR?

Personal data needs to be processed in a transparent manner. To ensure this the following actions should be undertaken by the company: a) Have clear signage both on and inside the vehicle, indicating that filming it taking place. b) A policy detailing the purposes of the recording. Note here, that if you only state that the purpose is for use in the event of an accident – it can only be used for this purpose! c) The policy should also contain contact details, the basis of processing and how long you retain the data. d) leave hard copies in your vehicle so that your driver can give a copy out in the event of a query, e) consider issues such as security and who can access the footage.

My dash cam usually rewrites over previous footage every week – can I hold the footage longer if there was an incident like an accident?

Yes. While your normal retention period might be a week, in the event of an accident or other incident, the recording may be kept longer

If the dash Cam records an individual, can that individual request a copy of the footage?

Yes. You should be able to provide a copy of the footage containing the data subject within 30 days. You should also avoid sharing other peoples data, ie other licence plates etc. It is your responsibility that necessary redaction is completed on the footage before it is released.

Can An Garda Siochana view a Dash Cam recording?

Yes, An Garda Siochana can view any footage upon request. However, a copy of the footage should only be released following receipt of a written request as per Section 41 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Can I pass a Dash Cam recording to an insurance company?

Yes, but you must be satisfied that the insurance company will restrict its use of the data to only what is necessary, keep it secure and hold it only for as long as required. You should request a company’s policy with regarding to submitting recording prior to sending the material.

My insurance company offers discounts if I install dash cams, are there any Data Protection implications?

According to the data Protection Commissioner “If you enter into an arrangement with your insurer that requires you to own or operate a Dash cam to avail of a discount, your insurer may be acting as a joint controller”. As a minimum, you should ask the insurance company for a copy of their policies in relation to personal data that you record and ensure that the policy sets out each other respective responsibilities.

What are the key employee data protection implications for inward facing dashcams?

Many companies now have inward facing dash cams within company vehicles. There are a number of concerns in relation to this a) What is the purpose of the recording; b) have these purposes of processing been put in a written policy document; c) have employees clearly been informed of the existence of the dash cams and the purposes of processing; d) is such processing dealt with by way of Employee contract

What is the situation regarding video and Audio inward facing dashcams within taxis etc?

Audio and Video recording dashcams are usually deployed in buses and taxis for security and other reasons. In addition to the previous answer, such recordings may also capture images of passengers etc. In this situation, passenger need to be informed in a clear and transparent manner.

But, I only have a dash cam for my own personal use, is there any data protection implications?

If your dash cam is inward facing and is in your own car, the domestic use exemptions may apply. However, as a general rule of thumb if your dash cam is outward facing and you are recording the street outside, this is NOT domestic use.

You, should ensure that private Dash Cams are NEVER used within company vehicles.