Motorist confronts Audi dealership after it switched-off dashcam

Audi A3 was repaired but with dashcam not working

Motorist confronts Audi dealership after it switched-off dashcam
Mark Leighton found that his car was repaired but his dashcam was no longer working after taking it to an Audi dealership.

Mark Leighton, from Welling in Kent, took his Audi A1 to an Audi dealership after finding problems with the vehicle pulling to the left.

Mr Leighton left his car with the dealership and collected it later the same day but found that his Roadhawk DC2 dashcam had been tampered with and wasn’t working.

Mr Leighton said: “I want to know how my car was driven while on the public highway, considering the horror stories you read.

“If Audi allows you to stand in a viewing area while an MOT is being carried out, why can’t it allow a dash cam to be used?”

The issue was raised with the dealer, who referred the owner to Audi customer services but found the manufacturer to be acting unprofessionally.

A spokesperson for Audi told Auto Express: “Audi does not impose any blanket restrictions on filming in UK Audi centres, but we respect the right of our franchise partners to protect the security of their sites and the privacy of their staff by any appropriate legal means.”

The dealer later told Mr Leighton that his dashcam shouldn’t have been switched off without his permission.

The law

The news follows a newly emerging trend whereby vehicle owners are uploading dashcam footage, captured whilst the vehicle is being worked on in a garage.

The use of dashcams has raised a number of questions, largely about the security and privacy of the garage and its employees.

Daniel Barlow, Case Officer at the Information Commissioner’s Officer, told GW that that section 36 of the Data Protection Act (DPA) provides an almost total exemption for those who just use or collect personal data for their own domestic and recreational purposes.

Speaking to GW, Barlow said: “The purpose for which the camera footage will be used is the important factor when determining whether the individual can rely on the section 36 exemption or whether they would need to comply with the data protection principles.

“Where the purpose of the footage is to record employees, such as mechanics, it is unlikely that the individual could rely on Section 36. This would mean that the individual must comply with the DPA.”

The DPA provides a framework of duties when collecting and using personal data, such as retention, security and the obligation to be transparent about the collecting of data.

“In relation to posting personal data about other people online, if the individual is acting in a purely personal capacity when they post other people’s personal data online then they are not subject to the DPA.

“It is important to note however, even if the individual is exempt from the data protection principles it is still possible for them to break the law in other ways when posting information online.

“For example, individuals may be prosecuted under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 or the Communications Act 2003.”

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