US dashcam legality

Discussion in 'Legal Questions' started by qwe123, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. spmars87

    spmars87 New Member

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    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?
     
  2. DT MI

    DT MI Well-Known Member

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    Too Many - See Signature
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  3. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    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
     
  4. Gabacho

    Gabacho Well-Known Member

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    Florida is a two party consent State
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
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  5. DT MI

    DT MI Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    Too many ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    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
     
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  7. Street Guardian USA

    Street Guardian USA Well-Known Member Retailer

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    StreetGuardian.CAM Amazon.com
    I'm out of the spare warning stickers, would love to get some more in my next shipment. :)
     
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  8. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    check your messages on Skype
     
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  9. DT MI

    DT MI Well-Known Member

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    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. ;) )
     
  10. Street Guardian USA

    Street Guardian USA Well-Known Member Retailer

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    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

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Gibson99

    Gibson99 Well-Known Member

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    Eh, one or two... ;)
    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.
     
  12. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    in this case it's not practical, the drive would be much bigger than the DVR
     
  13. spmars87

    spmars87 New Member

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    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?
     
  14. jokiin

    jokiin Well-Known Member Manufacturer

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    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
     
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  15. DT MI

    DT MI Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  16. spmars87

    spmars87 New Member

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    Any lawyer here with experience on bringing footage before courts?
     
  17. spmars87

    spmars87 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply DT MI, we don't have such a distinction here in Europe for example..
     
  18. kamkar1

    kamkar1 Well-Known Member

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    Lukas LK-7500G / Innovv C3 / mobius / G1W / SG9665GC & more
    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.
     
  19. SawMaster

    SawMaster Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  20. Sunny

    Sunny Well-Known Member

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    More than I can review. ;)
    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.

     
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