Dashcams insurance plan could be scuttled by strict data regulations on footage
Proposals to use dashcams fitted in cars as a means of promoting road safety - and even potentially identifying fraudulent insurance claims - could be scuttled by strict data regulations.
A leading barrister has warned the proposed roll-out of dashcams and, critically, the indefinite storage of such footage, could have enormous implications under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
William Bulman BL stressed the use of the cameras needs to be justified to meet data protection rules, with the long-term storage of such data an additional problem.
"There is clearly an issue. Even though these cameras are programmed to over-write the footage after a specific period, which is usually quite short depending on the card size, computer technicians can retrieve over-written data.
"Even though nothing is stored for any great length of time, GDPR is a potential issue," he said.
"If footage is to be stored for a longer period of time - or permanently stored so that it could be used for legal purposes either in a pending civil or criminal court case - then serious questions about how the data was stored arise.
"There are also issues such as the storage of data containing a person's personal details ranging from the registration number of their vehicle potentially through to identifying where they may live," he said.
His warning came as insurance giant AXA Ireland partnered with a major camera company to offer up to a 10pc discount on policies for motorists who have a dashcam fitted. Camera firm Nextbase will match this with a 10pc discount on its dashcams bought in specific retailers.
It is estimated about 150,000 motorists here drive without proper insurance cover.