Is It Legal To Carry A Video Camera Recording In The Car?

 The reckless conduct of a driver in Murcia, recorded from a mobile phone from the car he was trying to cut off, has outraged public opinion. This recording has also served for the authorities to take measures , locating the driver and opening the appropriate proceedings.

In this case, the recording was made from a mobile phone and from the seat occupied by the co-pilot. But there are other types of cameras that are gradually becoming very popular, especially due to the dissemination on social networks of accidents and strange maneuvers carried out by Russian drivers.

Given this proliferation of “amateur” recordings, it is worth wondering if they are legal, if they can be valid as evidence in the event of an accident , and if any illegality is being committed by having them connected and focusing on the public highway.

A first example is the so-called continuous recording cameras. It will be continuous recording when the car is parked and its driver is not inside, but the camera continues recording. In this case we will find ourselves facing a clear case of video surveillance.

When it comes to this type of recordings, they may only be carried out by the State Security Forces and Bodies, as well as the cameras that have the corresponding announcement posted by the company in charge of both the recording and the contact information. This happens so that “individuals can contact them to exercise their rights of Cancellation, Rectification, Cancellation or Opposition (ARCO)”.

A second case is the so-called «on-board cameras». These are very popular devices in Russia , and unlike the previous ones, these cameras only record images when the vehicle is on. When we talk about these recordings, the Agency for Data Protection is more permissive. Thus, it only intervenes if it considers that the privacy right of the recorded person has been violated. To clarify it, it takes into account the following factors: its use, its justification and its proportionality. Therefore, “whoever has recorded the images will not be able to reproduce them to third parties or upload them to the internet in cases where the vehicle or persons license plate is seen.” Thus, the reproduction of these images would be limited to the private sphere, says the attorney for Pyramid Consulting .

If, on the other hand, we do not reproduce these images before third parties and they are only used as evidence in a trial to, for example, discern guilt in an accident (their use and proportionality will have to be justified), the recording may be admitted for processing. Organic Law 4/1997, of August 4, which regulates the use of video cameras by security forces and bodies in public places, states that there is no need to request the consent of the recorded person provided that the recipient of the said recording is the Ombudsman, the Public Prosecutor (Judges or Courts) and the Court of Accounts. The law makes no reference to insurance, which is what these cameras are used for so much in Russia.

In conclusion, everything will depend on the type of recording that is made, for what and how the recorded images will be used (the cases in which we make recordings in the private sphere would be excluded, that is, when we record a video on public roads that it will not be used outside the personal sphere).

As a general rule, if we use a camera as video surveillance (continuous) and use the material outside of our private sphere, it must respect the Organic Law on Protection of Personal Data (LOPD) , that is, the Third parties that appear in the recording must have expressed their consent. If, on the contrary, we make motion recordings with cameras that are only put into operation when we start the vehicle and we do not reproduce them before third parties or upload them to the Internet, these could be presented as evidence provided that we justify their use and proportionality.