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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10595
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am currently involved in a case where cctv footage has been

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I am currently involved in a case where cctv footage has been used against me in an incident that took place in a taxi. The driver had a sign up saying he was using cctv. He also was continuously recording sound as well as picture. I am under the impression that the recording of sound is not legal and this evidence should not be allowed to be used against me. Here is a link to the data protection site. Please pay attention to the last paragraph and in particular the last line. Thank you
1. At the outset, you give no context in relation to the case in which the CCTV is being used, nor the voice recordings involved and what is stated. Is it a civil or criminal matter? Could you provide more detail? Viewing this single statement on the Data Protection website does not mean that this is the view a court would take of the same issue. Reading the remarks of the Data Protection Commissioner, this statement relates to the recording and use of private communications among taxi users themselves. Such communications attract a right of privacy. However, such considerations do not apply to communications between the taxi driver and the fare-paying passenger. In law it is always legal to record your own conversations, not those of others. So the taxi driver would be acting lawfully if he recorded his own conversations with a passenger but would not be acting lawfully if he recorded the conversations of passengers amongst themselves. So please clarify the context, as a right of privacy and Data Protection considerations do not necessarily apply to conversations between a taxi driver and one occupant, for instance.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so a brief outline of what happened. Me and my partner got into a taxi. I had not taken notice of the driver. We did an illegal u turn. I then noticed the driver was of African Origin. I imediately wanted to get out due to their poor reputation as taxi driver and can be heard on the cctv saying "is he black? stop the car, let me out." This is the only thing that was said. Now I'm looking at possible racism charges. When I had every right to get out and not subject myself to overcharges and long routes etc. which such people are widely know to do. Could this footage be seen as inadmissable due to the person not being registered with the data commissioners and the recording of sound?

2. In a criminal case of alleged racism, this CCTV evidence including the voice recording will be admissible as it contains relevant evidence. You should get your counsel to argue about its admissibility but I regret to say that normally a court will always admit relevant evidence of this nature if the recording device was being operated properly. The issue of Data Protection is totally different to the issue of the admissibility of evidence in a criminal case. So I regret to say that your statement will be admissible in the criminal case of racism charges.
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