Do you have a video recorder in your car? Watch out for GIODO!


Recently, the Internet has been flooded with videos from video recorders installed in cars, often showing the shameful achievements of Polish - and not only - drivers. How often among these recordings can you find scenes showing the course of events that took place just before the collision? They constitute the majority, and what is important, they show who really was the culprit of the accident! Thanks to such recordings, we can prove to the insurer, the police, but also often to the perpetrator himself - who is guilty and who is the injured person. But be careful! If you want to use the recorded image for evidence purposes, we must take into account that we collect personal data - and such activity must be reported to the Inspector General for Personal Data Protection.

Video recorder and practice

Cameras in cars - the so-called video recorders - we can currently find them in public transport vehicles, police cars or taxis. In addition, it is becoming more and more popular to install webcams in private cars. It is good if the video recorder is installed for evidence purposes in the event of a road incident - worse when it is used to record the exploits of irresponsible drivers. An example is the recent case of a "driver in a white BMW" who recorded his rally in the streets of Warsaw. At that time, he violated many traffic rules by driving the wrong way, driving into an intersection at a red light, or racing with motorcyclists.

Due to the constant development of technology, innovative devices, which even a few years ago did not even dream of anyone, are already within the reach of the ordinary Kowalski's portfolio. Until recently, a symbol of luxury was the possession of GPS navigation, which today is probably available in every new mobile phone. It has become a fresh trend among drivers to have a small webcam - usually mounted on the windshield of the vehicle.

Currently, you do not need a luxury car to enjoy the benefits of technology. There are models of video recorders available on the market in a very wide price range, and the cheapest does not mean the worst.

The recording from the camera mounted in the car has proven the guilt of the perpetrator of the collision. Mounting the camera makes the driver feel more confident and safer in their own vehicle, because in an emergency, they will have proof that they are not guilty. If the perpetrator flies from the scene of the accident, he has a recording containing, for example, the registration number or the make of the vehicle.

The recorded material may constitute evidence in legal proceedings. However, it is worth considering what it looks like from a legal point of view. By recording our own journeys, we simultaneously record other vehicles participating in

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traffic, license plate numbers, as well as the faces of drivers and passers-by. The recording of this type of information is an activity that is probably known mainly by name - that is, the processing of personal data. It is therefore worth knowing at what point the collection of personal data of other people will be without consequences for us.

Personal data protection in theory

Before I go on to explaining the use of a dash cam recording in court proceedings, it is worth defining what personal data are and what their processing involves. Information on this subject can be found in the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act. Personal data is understood as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (Article 6 (1) of the above-mentioned Act). A set of personal data is understood as any structured set of personal data, available according to specific criteria - regardless of whether the set is dispersed or functionally divided.


Art. 6 of the Personal Data Protection Act

“2. An identifiable person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more specific factors determining his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social characteristics.

3. Information shall not be considered as making it possible to identify a person if it would require excessive costs, time or activities. "


On the other hand, the processing of personal data is the performance of any operations on personal data, i.e. collecting, recording, storing, processing, changing, sharing and deleting. This applies especially to those operations that are performed in IT systems.

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Video recorder recording as evidence in court

As a rule, the recording of the image for the personal (private use) of the recorder has no legal consequences. This is stated in the Data Protection Act, which states that these provisions do not apply to natural persons who process data solely for personal or domestic purposes. Therefore, the mere installation of a video recorder in a car and recording of people and vehicles participating in the movement does not oblige to register the personal data set with GIODO. It is worse when we intend to use the recording for purposes other than personal, e.g. in court proceedings against the perpetrator of an accident whose guilt is proven on the film.

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If the recording from the video recorder will constitute evidence in a court case, it will be necessary to report the collection and processing of personal data of other persons to the GIODO. This is due to the lack of separate legal regulations in this respect, which makes it necessary to rely on the provisions of the Act on the Protection of Personal Data.

One question arises: since I am a party to the proceedings - as an injured party - then the use of the recording of the accident in the trial will not be a personal goal? Well, it is not clearly defined because the regulations do not define a given issue directly.

Therefore, it is necessary to pass a new law regulating video surveillance in order to eliminate the absurdities related to the discussed issue. Importantly, the draft of such an act was presented in December 2013 by the Ministry of the Interior, but so far it does not contain information on the treatment of car video recorders.