Articles

Belgian Privacy Commission's position on the use of dashcams

Belgian Privacy Commission's position on the use of dashcams

Belgian Privacy Commission's position on the use of dashcams

15.07.2014

The Belgian Privacy Commission (“BPC”) recently addressed the privacy implications concerning the use of dashboard cameras (“dashcams”) in cars.

The use of a dashcam to film traffic constitutes the processing of images (in the light of advice no 34/1999 of 13 December 1999), where personal data (e.g., a license plate) can be registered. This would imply that the dashcam user, as data controller, is bound by the obligations of the Belgian Data Protection Act of 8
December 1992 (“BDPA”). However, not every use of a dashcam falls within the scope of the BDPA. The BPC makes the distinction between (i) dashcams for recreationaluse, (ii) dashcams for use as evidence in the event of a collision of cars, and (iii) dashcams used in the interior of a taxi.

First, Article 3, §2 BDPA exempts an individual’s recreational use of a dashcam if the video images are solely used for “personal and domestic purposes.” Thus, a dashcam’s recreational use is acceptable if the video footage is only viewed by a certain well-defined group of family members, acquaintances, and friends of the individual user. Publishing the video footage on a publicly accessible website (or even on Facebook) falls outside the definition of “personal and domestic purposes”, so that the requirements of the BDPA will apply.

Second, the BPC elaborates on the use of dashcams for evidential purposes in the event of a collision. The recording of video footage during a car collision does not constitute the processing of personal data, but rather the processing of legal personal data. Legal personal data processing is expressly excluded from the BDPA. However, the BPC allows for an exception, and that is, it permits the processing of information concerning suspicions, prosecutions, and convictions by any person for the purposes of handling his/her own dispute. The BPC states that the data controller must inform the subject of the footage immediately after the accident, should the people involved in the collision communicate with each other after the accident. In addition, the dashcam user will be required to file a privacy notification to the BPC.

Finally, the BPC describes the use of dashcams in taxis.These dashcams are intended to protect the driver or to record a possible theft or act of vandalism. In these circumstances, a dashcam is seen as a surveillance camera in a private place which is accessible to the public. Thus, this use does not fall under the BDPA, but rather within the scope of the Act of 21 March 2007 regulating the installation and use of surveillance cameras (“Belgian Camera Act”). The Belgian Camera Act stipulates that taxis equipped with a dashcam must exhibit a uniform icon so that customers are aware that they are being filmed. The data controller, either the employer or the taxi driver himself, will have to inform or notify the BPC and the chief of police of its decision to use a dashcam the day before it commissions the use of the camera.

The explicative notice can be found on http://www.privacycommission.be

 

Click here to see a printable version of this article

All rights reserved. Care has been taken to ensure that the content of this e-bulletin is as accurate as possible. However the accuracy and completeness of the information in this e-bulletin, largely based upon third party sources, cannot be guaranteed. The materials contained in this e-bulletin have been prepared and provided by Stibbe for information purposes only. They do not constitute legal or other professional advice and readers should not act upon the information contained in this e-bulletin without consulting legal counsel. Consultation of this e-bulletin will not create an attorney-client relationship between Stibbe and the reader. The e-bulletin may be used only for personal use and all other uses are prohibited.

Team

Related news

17.05.2022 EU law
Digital Law Up(to)date: Art. 17 of directive 2019/790 is valid!

Articles - The CJEU validates the new liability regime for large online platforms organised by article 17 of the directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market. The action was brought by the Republic of Poland to annul a part of article 17 as it is contrary to the right to freedom of expression.

Read more

11.05.2022 NL law
De afweging van grondrechten in het kader van corona

Articles - COVID-19 heeft de maatschappij voor dilemma’s geplaatst bij de afweging van volksgezondheid en bescherming van kwetsbaren tegenover vrijheden van het individu. In Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsrecht in Context schetsen Frederiek Fernhout en Judica Krikke de onderliggende rechten en vrijheden die vastgelegd zijn in het Europese grondrechtenkader, de AVG en nationale arbeidswetgeving en bespreken zij hoe deze tegen elkaar moeten worden afgewogen in de context van coronamaatregelen.

Read more

26.04.2022 EU law
Digital Law Up(to)date: Further clarification by the CJEU on the retention of traffic and location electronic communications data for the purpose of combating serious crime

Articles - On 5 April 2022, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union first confirmed that EU law precludes national legislative measures which provide, as a preventative measure, for the general and indiscriminate retention of traffic and location data relating to electronic communications, for the purpose of combating serious crime.

Read more