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Video ruling Court: dashcam footage may not be used as evidence

View from a dashcam

Dashcam recordings are considered 'secret' and therefore violate other drivers' personal rights

(Keystone)

Switzerland’s Federal Court has overturned a car driver’s conviction which was based on a video from a dashboard camera. 

In a decision published on Thursdayexternal link, the Federal Court upheld the driver’s appeal and overturned the sentencing of the woman who had received a conditional penalty and a fine of CHF4,000 ($4,030) for “multiple, sometimes gross, violations of traffic regulations”.

A district court in Bülach, canton Zurich, had sentenced the woman in 2018 and the Zurich High Court had upheld the sentence. 

The evidence for the conviction was a video recording from a camera mounted on the dashboard of a driver who had been harassed and then overtaken by the woman. The man reported the woman to the police. 

The Federal Court in Lausanne concluded that the recording may not be used as evidence. In its considerations, it stated that the recording had been obtained unlawfully in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act. 

“Since it is hard for other road users to see that recordings are being made from a vehicle, this is to be considered secret data processing […] which represents the violation of personal rights,” it said.


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