Is it legal to take a camera recording in the car?

Carry one camera installed at the top of the windshield of the car, also known as dash cam, convinces more and more drivers, who find in this accessory irrefutable proof of what really happened in a traffic accident. Nevertheless, To what extent is this practice legal? Can you take a camera in your car in Spain that is continuously recording what is happening?

Well, the first thing you should know is that the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) You will not be fined for having a camera in the car. It is legal and you can use it as long as you comply with the General Traffic Regulations and do not carry any element on the windshield that prevents the correct vision of the road elements.

According to the DGT, It is allowed to carry a camera in the car as long as you install it behind the rear-view mirror or in another place where it does not disturb and affect visibility. Keep in mind that if the camera prevents the correct view of the road, you may be penalized with a fine of 80 euros. On the other hand, you should know that It is totally forbidden to touch or manipulate the camera while driving. Doing it is a Serious offense that entails a fine of 200 euros and the withdrawal of three points from the driving license.

It is best to install the camera behind the rear view mirror.

As for the insurersgenerally allow the use of dash cams, since after all they allow to demonstrate who is at fault in a traffic accident.

Beware of the Organic Law on Data Protection

However, although the DGT allows the use of cameras in the car, the truth is that you can’t use it anyway. And it is that things change if we keep in mind the Organic Law on Data Protectionwhich indicates that you can only record and play content for private use. This means that the images recorded by your car camera cannot be made public on social networks or in any public space, since doing so would violate the privacy of third parties. Keep in mind that you would be recording people who travel on public roads without their consent.

In addition, it is forbidden to make a continuous recording of the public road with the car camera, since it would be considered as a video surveillance activity and currently only some authorized entities and the State Security Forces and Corps have permission to do so. For this reason, most car cameras are configured to record only a specific moment when a vehicle motion sensor or accelerometer is activated.

The last word has a judge

As there is no clear regulation about the use of cameras in the car, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) explains in legal report 0456/2015 that each case must be analyzed individually according to legitimacy and proportionality:

“To determine whether the application of the aforementioned precept would proceed, the weighting rule provided therein must be applied; In other words, it will be necessary to assess whether in the specific case under analysis there is a legitimate interest pursued by the data controller or by the third party or third parties to whom the data is communicated that prevails over the interest or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the interested party. or if, on the contrary, said fundamental rights or interests of the interested parties to whom the data processing refers have to prevail over the legitimate interest on which the person in charge intends to base the processing of personal data”.

In short, it is allowed to record with a camera in the car, as long as it is a spot recording. However, if you want to present the recording as proof of your innocence in a traffic accident trial, the last word will always be the judgewhich will assess the situation and the facts and will make the decision as to whether or not the presentation of the recording as evidence is valid.