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You may have considered buying a dashcam for your car, especially as there is an increase in the number of times video evidence has been presented in situations in recent years globally, but there are still questions as to how useful a dashcam might be, and if it is legal to use one in Spain.

A dashcam is a small camera that is installed or attached to the vehicle, which can monitor the front, rear, and even sides of the car, and record the activities it sees.

The main advantage of a dashcam is that it is recording at any time everything that happens, so in the event of an incident, the user can save in a clip of a few seconds what happened both before, during and after the incident. Its storage capacity is high thanks to the fact that it has slots in which to insert SD or microSD cards that can then be easily removed from the device and taken home to store them on a computer.

In terms of whether dashcams are legal in Spain, the General Traffic Regulations do not expressly prohibit its use while driving, as long as it does not affect visibility. It must also be secure. In terms traffic law, they are the only important considerations. However, here we must also consider the Organic Law on Data Protection: this specifies that any recording cannot be used outside the domestic or private sphere without the consent of the people who appear in the images. Otherwise, the Spanish Data Protection Agency may sanction you.

Therefore, although you can present the images to your insurer, for example, which can help clarify who is to blame in an incident, as a general rule it will not serve as evidence if the case is later referred to a judicial procedure. The judge investigating the case will consider whether the images have been captured legally or not, and if, therefore, they may or may not be admissible.

In terms of data protection however, posting footage publicly, like on social media, can have serious consequences. There are many different elements that are protected, including identifying features such as a face, but number plates and even house numbers can see you falling foul of the law. The best advice is to not post the footage publicly unless you have permission.  

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