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Dashcams: Everything You Need to Know About Using One While Driving for Uber.
If you’re a rideshare driver, it only takes one shaky encounter to make you thankful for your dashcam. Not only do dashcams serve as a deterrent to unwanted passenger behavior, but they also protect you in the event of unfounded claims from disgruntled passengers. One major concern, however, is your legal right to record passengers.
The laws and policies surrounding the use of new technology like dashcams is constantly evolving and changing. This has given rise to some confusion about when and what you can record in your rideshare vehicle. Here’s everything you need to know about using a dashcam in your rideshare business.
Rideshare dashcam consent rules in a nutshell.
In general, people can be recorded anywhere without consent so long as they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. For example, if you were having a telephone conversation inside your home or office, you would expect that conversation to be private, even if someone was eavesdropping from a window. On the other hand, if you were having a conversation on your front porch or office balcony, the courts would probably rule your conversation to be unprotected, since a reasonable person would know that their conversation outside could easily be overheard.
For taxicabs, the courts consider passengers to have a limited expectation of privacy since the passenger is paying a fare, has control over the destination, and can exclude other passengers. This means that if you are going to use a dashcam to record their ride, you first have to get consent to record the conversation. But consent laws can be tricky and they vary by state.
Fifteen states currently require that both parties to a conversation consent to the recording, while the other 35 states and the District of Columbia only require one person to consent to the recording. Federal law also only requires the consent of one party, but if you are in a state where the two-party rule applies, then in most cases, you will have to get consent from both parties.
***The laws regarding electronic recording consent vary by state and the specific circumstances of the recording. These laws are constantly changing and evolving. If you have questions about the recording laws in your state, you should consult a local attorney for advice.***
|Two Party Consent States||One Party Consent States|
Is it OK if I just post a sign on my window or inside my vehicle saying that I use a dashcam?
You may have heard of a concept called “informed consent.” This basically means that if someone consents to something, they have to actually understand what they are consenting to and the implications of their consent.
Although there is no clear standard for rideshare recording, it is best to make sure your passengers understand and agree to the recording. Even if you have a sign posted, the safest bet is to tell your passengers you are recording them and get their verbal OK.
If everyone consents to the recording, can I post it on my YouTube account?
In the wake of recent scandals where Uber and Lyft drivers broadcast unsavory passenger conversations on social media, both Uber and Lyft have updated their policies regarding the broadcast of such recordings. Uber guidelines state that “broadcasting a person’s image, audio, or video recording is a violation of [their] terms and may result in a loss of account access.” So if you drive for Uber, the answer is a hard “no.” Lyft guidelines are similar but do provide an exception if the passenger provides “express consent” for the video to be broadcast.
This article does not constitute legal advice and is for general knowledge purposes only. RideshareGuru.com does not make any guarantees to its accuracy as each state’s legal situation is unique. We recommend that you contact an attorney licensed in your state for the most accurate information regarding local laws. Links on this page may go to partners or affiliates and we may be compensated for your purchases with those partners or affiliates.
Marie Sotelo is a licensed attorney in the State of Arizona with 14 years of experience in general practice. She spent ten years serving as general counsel for one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and currently focuses her practice in conflict resolution, mediation, and organizational development.