As British roads have become more congested than any other country in Europe, the dashcam industry has seen an unprecedented rise in sales. In addition, many of today’s modern cars are factory fitted with the latest in recording equipment. As a result, the motor repairs industry is seeing more and more cars that are fitted with this kind of technology than ever before.
Recent stories in the media include that of the BMW technician whose actions to attempt to disable the front dashcam in a customers’ car were recorded by a hidden camera in the same car. The customer later posted the video online where it gained over 4,580 views with mixed opinions from viewers. Though he did not explicitly say this, the way in which the video was broadcasted implied that the customer was questioning why this had taken place and if the dealership had anything to hide. Whilst some viewers agreed with him, others, such as Daniel Cranfield, stated ‘I do the exact same unplug any recording equipment, do not agree with filming in my garage’. Another garage owner also gave his take on it, saying ‘I believe all dashcams should be turned off and not recording when the vehicle is in any garage…nobody in that garage has agreed to be filmed’. Whatever your own opinion, this is certainly a complex and very modern problem that will not be going away any time soon.
After much discussion, we decided to go ahead address it with our customers and to draw up a concrete policy on it.
The first point to make is that, as a business, we are government by the GDPR and safeguarding laws. We have a duty of care to protect both our team and members of the public who use our services. Allowing cameras that are not within our control into the premises is likely to breach this, particularly the CCTV policy. This is because we would not be in control of the recording and therefore could not disclose it if requested.
In addition, it would inappropriate to film our employees without their express consent to the recording of confidential information, names and faces. As some devices also record sound, this could be a further complication. Therefore, all members of staff concerned would also require access to these recordings if necessary.
Finally, these devices can pose a threat to the safety of both the garage and even the car itself. Historically, they have been used to gain information to allow the burglary of garage premises. Moreover, the are often very valuable. Consequently, whilst items are left in the vehicle at the owner’s risk, it is better if they are removed rather than them getting damaged or lost.
So, whilst we do appreciate that dashcams can be incredibly useful where insurance is concerned, it is for these reasons that we have amended our own policy on the use of them on our premises. Along with many others in the industry, we now ask customers to switch off any recording devices or disconnect them where necessary. However, we do offer to show our own CCTV of any repairs or services being carried out if this is something that the customer wishes to observe. Due to the ever-changing nature of information technology, this policy will be reviewed regularly and amended where necessary.
As always, we would love to hear from you. How do you feel about the recording of services and repairs in the motor vehicle industry?