Privacy Best Practices for Rideshare Drivers Using Dashcams
FPF & Uber Publish Guide Highlighting Privacy Best Practices for Drivers who Record Video and Audio on Rideshare Journeys
FPF and Uber have created a guide for US-based rideshare drivers who install “dashcams” – video cameras mounted on a vehicle’s dashboard or windshield. Many drivers install dashcams to improve safety, security, and accountability; the cameras can capture crashes or other safety-related incidents outside and inside cars. Dashcam footage can be helpful to drivers, passengers, insurance companies, and others when adjudicating legal claims. At the same time, dashcams can pose substantial privacy risks if appropriate safeguards are not in place to limit the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data.
Dashcams typically record video outside a vehicle. Many dashcams also record in-vehicle audio and some record in-vehicle video. Regardless of the particular device used, ride-hail drivers who use dashcams must comply with applicable audio and video recording laws.
The guide explains relevant laws and provides practical tips to help drivers be transparent, limit data use and sharing, retain video and audio-only for practical purposes, and use strict security controls. The guide highlights ways that drivers can employ physical signs, in-app notices, and other means to ensure passengers are informed about dashcam use and can make meaningful choices about whether to travel in a dashcam-equipped vehicle. Drivers seeking advice concerning specific legal obligations or incidents should consult legal counsel.
Privacy best practices for dashcams include:
- Give individuals notice that they are being recorded
- Place recording notices inside and on the vehicle.
- Mount the dashcam in a visible location.
- Consider, in some situations, giving an oral notification that recording is taking place.
- Determine whether the ride sharing service provides recording notifications in the app, and utilize those in-app notices.
- Only record audio and video for defined, reasonable purposes
- Only keep recordings for as long as needed for the original purpose.
- Inform passengers as to why video and/or audio is being recorded.
- Limit sharing and use of recorded footage
- Only share video and audio with third parties for relevant reasons that align with the original reason for recording.
- Safeguard and encrypt recordings and delete unused footage
- Identify dashcam vendors that provide the highest privacy and security safeguards.
- Carefully read the terms and conditions when buying dashcams to understand the data flows.
Uber will be making these best practices available to drivers in their app and website.
Many ride-hail drivers use dashcams in their cars, and the guidance and best practices published today provide practical guidance to help drivers implement privacy protections. But driver guidance is only one aspect of ensuring individuals’ privacy and security when traveling. Dashcam manufacturers must implement privacy-protective practices by default and provide easy-to-use privacy options. At the same time, ride-hail platforms must provide drivers with the appropriate tools to notify riders, and carmakers must safeguard drivers’ and passengers’ data collected by OEM devices.
In addition, dashcams are only one example of increasingly sophisticated sensors appearing in passenger vehicles as part of driver monitoring systems and related technologies. Further work is needed to apply comprehensive privacy safeguards to emerging technologies across the connected vehicle sector, from carmakers and rideshare services to mobility services providers and platforms. Comprehensive federal privacy legislation would be a good start. And in the absence of Congressional action, FPF is doing further work to identify key privacy risks and mitigation strategies for the broader class of driver monitoring systems that raise questions about technologies beyond the scope of this dashcam guide.