Breach, Please



On Twitter.

Requests were made by gardaí, via their Twitter account, for the videos above to be removed from Twitter.

The videos contain footage taken by cyclists.

The requests prompted some on Twitter to ask the gardai what law was being broken by the posters…


Gardaí fears over dangerous driving videos ‘have no basis’ (Catherine Sanz, The Times Ireland edition)

39 thoughts on “Breach, Please

  1. Cian

    Interesting one. As far as I’m aware:

    You have the right to photograph/video people in public (there is no right to privacy). So the taking of a video/photo is not illegal.
    If you use a headcam/dashcam it is considered “personal or household activities”, which are exempt from the GDPR. So GDPR isn’t an issue. (Note: this doesn’t apply to professional drivers – so taxi/courier/bus/delivery driver must abide by GDPR).

    However, once you publish a video online it stops being a “personal or household activity” – so at that stage I believe that GDPR kicks in.

    1. Hank

      “so at that stage I believe that GDPR kicks in.”

      I’m pretty sure GDPR can never kick in for the simple reason that it’s just not relevant when it comes to somebody filming in a public place.

      1. Cian

        If you film in public with the intention of using the images for non-personal or non-household reasons, then GDPR applies. You need to abide by the data processing rules.

        If you are filming for personal or household reasons – then you don’t. But then you shouldn’t publish the resulting photographs/videos.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Data Protection and GDPR is a mess…
      And i just started a course on it, should be fun/interesting. Only one lecture in to-date :0)

      1. SOQ

        Record it on your phone clamps, then play it back when you are trying to sleep.

        Works every time for me.

    3. small ads

      Everyone is entitled to his good name; and there’s a really simple way to protect it – don’t park illegally, endangering vulnerable road users; don’t use your phone while driving; don’t race through lights several seconds after they turn red like the van I saw in Terenure today…

  2. manolo

    This has been going on for years. Whenever they are asked what is the basis for their demand they reply lacking on specifics. They also seem to have a set of rules that stops themselves from posting personal identification, but they confuse THEIR posts with 3rd party posts tagging them.

    There’s also a theory that if they are tagged it can be claimed that they had knowledge of someone’s poor driving.

  3. Mickey Twopints

    AGS are interested in enforcing GDPR (where they have no authority) but not road traffic legislation (where they have a duty *and* the necessary authority)? Now, who would have thought that?

    1. Cian

      Not really. The AGS post specifically said “Make a statement this will allow prosecution to proceed”; so they are interested in enforcing road traffic legislation.

      1. manolo

        Do you know a single person who cycles who had their case taken all the way through the prosecution process by a Garda officer? I don’t, but I know dozens who were turned down or actively dissuaded from doing it. Unless injuries are sustained, there is no interest in prosecuting dangerous driving like what is shown in the video.

    1. Cian

      It is personal data if that car is owned by a person. If it is a company car then it’s not.

      “’Personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”.

      1. Me

        Does this apply in all cases or only here where there is an active direction to look at the car/numberplate?
        For example if I put photos on a blog or a video on Youtube that have cars in them as incidental/background but the numberplate is visible am I then in breach of GDPR?

      2. manolo

        Are you able to tell me who the owner of that car is? I can’t think of a way to do it unless I am an “authority”

      3. SOQ

        But I have no way of linking the two.

        If I posted someone’s mobile number on this site without their name then is that a breach?

        1. Braaap

          There’s no way to link the Reg plate and the private individual for Joe soap. So calling it Personal data is rubbish.

          1. Cian

            For the purposes of this Regulation:
            (1) ‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;

            *This* is the official GDPR definition.


          2. manolo

            it is debatable that “identification number” applies to car number plates. Also, Article 2, paragraph 1:

            “This Regulation applies to the processing of personal data wholly or partly by automated means and to the processing other than by automated means of personal data which form part of a filing system or are intended to form part of a filing system.”

            *Filing system*

          3. Cian

            Publication of Footage
            If you are using a Dash Cam for security or accident liability purposes, you should be aware that the publication of footage, for example on social media platforms, represents a further processing and risks infringing the privacy rights of recorded individuals and data protection legislation.

            Publication of personal data can be justified in certain circumstances for journalistic purposes but this must be carefully balanced with the privacy rights of the individuals concerned.


          4. Cian

            Article 4 GRDP Definitions:
            ‘processing’ means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction;

            So if you have a camera and are storing the image it is ‘processing’.

          5. manolo

            “*risks* infringing the privacy rights of recorded individuals and data protection legislation” – this is far from conclusive, more of an over-cautious advice in the lack of testing in court.

            In addition, Article 4, paragraph 6:

            “‘filing system’ means any structured set of personal data which are accessible according to specific criteria, whether centralised, decentralised or dispersed on a functional or geographical basis;”

            Is Twitter a “structured set of personal data”? Is this not about controlling databases used by businesses and organizations?

          6. SOQ

            Only the authorities, and perhaps a few neighbours, know who owns the car and even then, no guarantee it was the same person driving.

            Someone posted a breaking of a law on twitter then, a very ill informed (clueless?) member of An Garda Síochána quoted GDPR. Have i missed anything?

            Let this chancer take it to court.

        2. Starina

          A data breach has to have enough information to identify or steal the identity of a person. So a mobile number alone isn’t enough but a mobile number and a name would be.

          1. Cian

            ‘personal data breach’ means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed;

            *This* is the official GDPR definition. Nothing to do with identity theft.


        3. Cian

          If you were given their number you have an obligation to keep it safe. If you post it online you aren’t keeping it safe (unless, of course, when getting the number you said that you would post it online).

          Would you be prosecuted? It depends on context. If you posted a number with some context that allowed someone guess the owner, and/or what type of person they might be – it is more likely than if it is a “random” number on a “random” page.

    2. George

      Cian’s interpretation seems very wide. You could say every photo of a residential street that shows a house number and sign with a street name was personal data. What is the difference?

      1. Cian

        It depends. A house number is fixed at a location and this is totally public information. So a picture showing just a house number and street isn’t personal data.

        However, if there is anything else in the picture it gets interesting. If there is also a person (or car reg) then you can place *that* person at *that* a particular location. And if the image is time-stamped, you can place that person in that place at that time. Now is it explicitly personal data.

  4. Martco

    would the Gardai not be much better off embracing the facility said twittered information offers by (instead of the bullshting) requesting that the witness gets in touch with their local station in person to make the complaint so they can commence an investigation?

    my understanding is that this kind of cctv capture for the given scenario whether posted to twitter yt or wherever is not slander per se, is useful but is unactionable unless furnished directly by a citizen making a complaint, no?

    I can’t see the need for the outburst over it’s posting on twitter.

    1. small ads

      The Gardaí could (if they were interested in protecting vulnerable road users from scofflaw drivers) cross-check the footage with local CCTV and prosecute.
      But really we need the meter maids back – we need a separate traffic force that can slap a fine on the driver who regards putting a child on a bike in danger as only a larf, like.

  5. Shayna

    There’s a name and shame argument, surely? I used to drive trucks – HGV1 – 70 feet long, number one rule – look out for cyclists – there’s a cyclist/motorcyclist mirror fitted on every truck, it points down? I think a professional driver has a different perspective. Don’t park on cycle lanes!

  6. topsy

    “..everyone is entitled to their good name.” Funny how that didn’t apply to Maurice McCabe and others.

    1. George

      Are they claiming they are enforcing the defamation act now as well as GDPR? They need to learn a little bit about law.

  7. phil

    You just need a sticker on your helmet informing people that they may well be filmed , the sticker usually says something like

    ‘CCTV operating in this vehicle’

    They you are golden, so a taxi driver told me ….

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