The DPC has published guidance for drivers concerning their data protection responsibilities when using dash cams. Images and audio recordings captured by dash cams constitute ‘personal data‘ insofar as they relate to an identifiable individual and are therefore subject to the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.

Actions to take

In order to comply with the GDPR, in particular, the transparency, purpose limitation, data minimisation, storage limitation and security requirements, as well as individuals’ access rights, the DPC recommends that drivers take the following actions:

  • Ensure a clearly visible sign or sticker is place on vehicles indicating that filming is taking place;
  • Keep a policy sheet detailing your contact details, the basis on which you are collecting the images and audio of others (if applicable), the purposes for which the data is being used and how long you will retain it for etc. (in compliance with Articles 12 and 13 of the GDPR);
  • Provide a copy of the policy sheet on request to anyone who asks for further information about your dash cam, or provide the information verbally;
  • In the event of an accident, inform the other party that you have recorded footage of the accident;
  • Only retain footage for as long as necessary, in regard to the purpose for which it was obtained. Footage of an accident may be required for a claim or investigation and can be retained for that purpose, but other footage should be routinely deleted;
  • Store footage securely and limit access to it, and
  • Provide individuals with access to any footage/audio recording their image/voice.

Sharing Dash Cam Footage with Insurance companies and/or the Gardaí

• If you share footage with your insurance company in the event of an accident, your insurance company will likely become a joint data controller of the footage. If so, you must both ensure the footage is processed in compliance with data protection law and an arrangement is in place that transparently sets out your respective data protection responsibilities. The DPC suggests that joint controllership is more likely to occur where an insurer requires a driver to: install and use a dash cam to avail of a discount; which model of dash cam to use; to provide footage to the insurer at their request or upload it to their website, and monitors use of the dash cam.

• Law enforcement authorities may request a copy of the dash cam footage from drivers or insurers in relation to the investigation of a crime. The DPC confirms that the provision of dash cam footage to law enforcement authorities is permitted under section 41 of the Data Protection Act 2018, if the relevant authority can demonstrate that the footage is necessary for the purpose of the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence. The DPC recommends, where possible, that a request for footage should be put in writing.