Are there GDPR implications with dashcam recordings?

My parked and unoccupied Tesla 3 was recently damaged by a hit and run driver. I was able to retrieve footage of the accident from the cars numerous cameras and pursue a successful insurance claim as a result. However, I can't help wondering where Tesla's Sentry system in particular stands with GDPR. The cameras are constantly recording everything and everybody, so what differentiates dashcams etc. from every other similar kind of installation I can think of where you are required to advise people if they are on camera/CCTV?

Asked on 21 June 2024 by andysun

Answered by David Ross
Recording in a public place without the consent of any individuals captured is a breach of GDPR, and in both Germany and the Netherlands Tesla had to change how the system was advertised in order to place the responsibility for its use with the owner. Although GDPR no longer applies to the UK, the Data Protection Act 2018 effectively incorporates the same regulations as GDPR. To further complicate matters, UK law permits filming and photography in public places without the consent of individuals, and the police have no power to stop them filming or photographing, which would in theory contradict the protection of personal data.

However, the Data Protection Act 2018 contains specific wording which covers the particular situation you describe. Data protection legislation does not apply to personal data which is 'processed by a natural person in the course of a purely personal or household activity'. It could be argued that your vehicle's cameras are purely an element of its security system rather than deliberate surveillance.
Tags: dashcams gdpr law
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