Is legal or not to carry a cam on a helmet / vehicle?

This post was published by a lawyer who discusses the question.

I’m not very fond of writing posts on internet that aren’t about motorcycle outings or experiences on two wheels, but I’ve been reading a lot on the forums lately about the legality of recording with GoPro on your helmet (whilst in the saddle) and I think it’s time to put things straight.

As a lawyer specializing in Data Protection And Compliance, I feel justified – and at the same time obligated – to write this entry and give my opinion.

I understand that in this country we’re all lawyers and doctors. But while that’s all very well if you’re talking about personal comments with your mates in the cafe, it’s different if it’s a public forum;
because its impact and its reach is very much greater.

I start reading these articles and I always see the same thing: a ton of quotes from articles and rules which seem to justify the writer’s affirmation that recording from a GoPro is prohibited, that they’ll fine us 500 euros and furthermore confiscate our camera.

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Then they inform you that the recordings are “personal data” covered by Data Protection Law, and how personal data includes number plates, and how unequivocal consent is required…etc,etc. But, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got ahead of ourselves and we’ve forgotten that amongst the first articles of law exists a thing called “scope of application”, whose function is simply to define the behaviours to which the rules will be applied.

Consequently, those actions subject to the concepts interpreted so well by the writers in these forums. To conclude and not ramble on, I quote Article 2 of the Data Protection Law, which states in paragraph 2:

“The rule of protection of data of a personal nature which is established in the current Organic Law will not be applied:

a) To those files kept by physical persons in the exercise of exclusively personal or domestic activities”

So, simply and plainly, the Data Protection Law doesn’t prohibit this activity for the simple reason that it doesn’t apply; that what we are recording with these devices are private and domestic videos.

They are in no way comparable to fixed security cameras (private or public) which do fall within the law. I hope this will put to rest a controversy which affects a lot of us bikers. Let’s bear in mind that the Guardia Civil are professionals and don’t go around fining people for no reason. Let’s not just create sensational headlines.

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(Article translated by Maureen Daniels.)


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