US dashcam legality

spmars87

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#21
What about dashcams in the State of Florida?
I'm not really an expert in US law. Is privacy regulated on a federal basis or by any single State in the US?
 

DT MI

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#22
...Is privacy regulated on a federal basis or by any single State in the US?
Pretty much state by state. I don't have an answer about Florida.

Edit: To clarify a bit in most states (maybe even all) video recording in public is legal. Where most restrictions come into play is when recording audio. Michigan (where I live) requires consent of all parties (or maybe just notification) to record audio but no restrictions on video recording done in public.
 
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jokiin

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#23
Pretty much state by state. I don't have an answer about Florida.

Edit: To clarify a bit in most states (maybe even all) video recording in public is legal. Where most restrictions come into play is when recording audio. Michigan (where I live) requires consent of all parties (or maybe just notification) to record audio but no restrictions on video recording done in public.
yeah in two party states you need notification of audio recording, that's why we include the warning stickers with our products just for those states so that they're compliant, leave it up to the individual if they actually use them or not
 

DT MI

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#25
...we include the warning stickers with our products just for those states so that they're compliant...
Do you know of a source for a similar sticker? I've searched and can only find bumper stickers or window stickers that are much larger than I want.
 

jokiin

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#26
Do you know of a source for a similar sticker? I've searched and can only find bumper stickers or window stickers that are much larger than I want.
we sell them for $200, sounds pricey I know but it comes with a free camera ;)

seriously though check with Jon @Pier28 he might have a spare he could send you, I did send him some previously
 

DT MI

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#29
I'm out of the spare warning stickers, would love to get some more in my next shipment. :)
If that could be arranged I'm more that willing to pay a reasonable price for a few of them (multiple vehicles).

($200 is a bit much given that I have all the cameras I need at the moment - free or otherwise. ;) )
 

Street Guardian USA

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#30
If that could be arranged I'm more that willing to pay a reasonable price for a few of them (multiple vehicles).

($200 is a bit much given that I have all the cameras I need at the moment - free or otherwise. ;) )
Good news, I found a box full of stickers! I went ahead and created a quick product page if you want a set. Let me know if you need a few like you said and I'll work out a bundle deal.

https://shop.pier28.com/index.php/accessories/stickers.html

 

Gibson99

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#31
Still working on it, we just this week got support for up to 512GB memory, that's probably not cost effective just yet but large card support is obviously desirable when there's two full HD streams to capture

Maybe we'll see this sorted and ready to go Q1 next year, lots to do still
at that point, why not just use a regular SATA SSD? no, it's nowhere near as small as even a regular SD card, but the price per gig is WAY better, even for name-brand drives. and since space isn't as much of an issue with all the lenses being remote, your main DVR can be larger without much penalty. and it could be directly powered by the vehicle rather than needing an external adapter, and thus won't have to worry about current limitations to be able to power the SSD. here's just one quick example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...aWfWjMj7y7w081bqaPdHuBoCfAfw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

256gb microsd probably can't be had for $100. regular size 256gb SD cards seem to be about 150 and up, and microsd likely cost more - i couldn't find an actual name brand one, just stuff that looked like knock-offs.
 

spmars87

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#33
I think the legal issue with dashcams has two faces.
The first is if they are legally usable according to privacy regulations.
The second is if Law Courts, Police Forces or Insurance companies would accept the footage as evidence in a trail. If don't, it is clear that it's useless to use a dashcam..
What do you think?
 

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#34
The second is if Law Courts, Police Forces or Insurance companies would accept the footage as evidence in a trail. If don't, it is clear that it's useless to use a dashcam..
What do you think?
even if the evidence isn't accepted they are a great tool for being able to go over the events and make sure your own recollection of what happened is correct, you'd be surprised how much detail people miss when something unexpected happens, accidents aren't always straightforward
 

DT MI

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#35
I think the legal issue with dashcams has two faces.
The first is if they are legally usable according to privacy regulations.
The second is if Law Courts, Police Forces or Insurance companies would accept the footage as evidence in a trail. If don't, it is clear that it's useless to use a dashcam..
What do you think?
In the US there are 2 variations to this as well - recording video and recording audio.

Generally speaking recording video is legal in all 50 states if the person being recorded is in public and does not have a 'reasonable expectation of privacy'.

If a person is in their home and you're outside in a public place with a camera and telephoto lens taking pictures of them through the window you would be in trouble as in this case they can expect privacy. On the other hand if they were standing naked in their privately owned front yard in full view you're free to take as many photos/videos as you want, even though they are on private property. (It's a separate issue as to what you can do with the photos/videos but that's not relevant to this conversation.)

It gets interesting when someone is inside a vehicle - do they have an expectation of privacy? Say, for example, they were texting, not looking where they were driving, and hit someone. You were following and had clear videos of the entire incident including the fact they were distracted. An attorney would argue that since they were inside their vehicle the privacy expectation was there while the opposing attorney would argue they were outside in a public area and therefore that would not be the case. I'm not an attorney (but did take a few law classes in school) but I'm sure the courts would have to rule on this - they probably have already but I'm not aware of any specifics.

Recording audio is different in every state because it can be/is considered eavesdropping. Some states require the consent of at least one of the parties being recorded, some require consent of all parties, while others only require notification (not consent). In all states it's illegal to record conversations that you are not party to without prior court authorization.
 

spmars87

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#37
Thanks for the reply DT MI, we don't have such a distinction here in Europe for example..
 

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#38
I am wondering with the latest issues of samsung TV listening to what go on in the living room, should ppl using voice controlled Samsung TV advertise this to ther guests.
Allso same with voice on telefones, if it is enable then siri / cortana or who ever i allways listening for commands, and so any one using such features on a smartphone is eavesdropping on the enviorment close to that person.

I would never use such things on a telefone or my tv, and i dont consider it smart at all, more stupid if you ask me.
 

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#39
In SC USA my lawyer advises me that dashcam or any publicly-directed video footage is admissible evidence and completely legal. When you enter or attempt to enter the realm of privacy that changes, but here your car is not considered private to anything readily discernible from the outside. You may not record audio anywhere in SC without consent or notification and if any party denies consent the recording must stop. There is a way around this as it is legal to record yourself as a "personal journal" like a diary- then any other voices become incidental and unintentional. News and organizations may film and record audio so long as their identity, camera and microphones, and purpose are clearly visible. "Personal" audio recordings like I described are not admissible as evidence here, but they can be used prior to court proceedings where many legal decisions are made. Tying audio to your video recording isn't advisable anywhere as that may render the video useless to you.

Issues concerning blocking of a driver's view are unrelated and that alone does not render your dashcam recordings as illegal. I'll risk a ticket for that (which I can fight and probably win) for the good my dashcam offers me. Federal law says nobody may alter or remove property from your vehicle without a warrant (a traffic ticket constitutes a warrant), although police can ask that you remove any view-blocking items before allowing you to proceed.

Discretion and the appearance of compliance are wisdom- you can't get in trouble from what they do not know about.
 

Sunny

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#40
This is good timing. I had to hear this over and over in NPR after the shooting death of Michael Slager and cell phone video release.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch...police-encounters-but-when-is-it-interference

Summary:
For eyewitnesses of police activity, the law is crystal clear, according to Mark Graber, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Maryland:
"You can film police on duty as long as you're not interfering with their activities."

Can record police as long as you don't interfere with their activities even though definition of interference still is little unclear.

Civilians Can Record Police Encounters, But When Is It Interference?

The arrest of South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in North Charleston this week, came shortly after the release of a cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness.

The filming of police by civilians has also sparked controversy, and it often causes confusion about what is legal.

For eyewitnesses of police activity, the law is crystal clear, according to Mark Graber, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Maryland: "You can film police on duty as long as you're not interfering with their activities."

"Interfering" is the key word when discussing the legality of recording encounters with the police.

"Precisely what constitutes 'interfering with police duties' is not entirely clear," Graber says. "This strikes me as an issue that within five years is likely to be a Supreme Court decision."

In the meantime, he says, the gray area includes determining how far away eyewitnesses should stand with their cameras so as to not get in the way of police.

"It gets murky when, in fact, people recording are so close to the police officer that they're distracting the police officer, or the police officer can't tell is that a camera or a weapon," says Graber. "Those are where things matter."

Police officers also face many fast-changing scenarios that can be hard for lawmakers to anticipate, says Chuck Canterbury, a retired police offer and the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police.

"You got to understand, most of the time the people that are videoing don't understand what's going on," he says. "They just happen upon it, and they just start videoing. And that's their constitutional right, but they cannot interfere."

Canterbury adds that laws that clearly define what is interference would be helpful to police.

There are five states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, New York and Texas — that are considering bills that might offer some clarity, according to Rich Williams, who tracks criminal justice policy for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"The question that the bills are trying to answer is, 'What is the line between peacefully recording law enforcement activity and interfering with the police officer's ability to do his job effectively?' " Williams says.

Still, video of questionable police activity doesn't always lead to criminal charges, as it has in the South Carolina case, says Jay Stanley, a privacy expert with the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Video's not going to solve every problem with our criminal justice system," he says, "but I think it's opening a lot of people's eyes to just how much abuse takes place out there."

People have tended to put a premium on the testimony of police officers, he says, but eyewitness videos are now calling that credibility into question.
 

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