SACRAMENTO – Protecting consumers against the increased collection and sale of personal data, Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced new legislation that would notify drivers when images are gathered by in-vehicle cameras and prohibit their sale to third parties or for advertising purposes.
“Increasingly in society today, we find ourselves being recorded or surveilled with no idea how the images are being used,” Sen. Dodd said. “This erosion of privacy is now happening inside our own cars. My bill would prevent the unwanted taking of video by in-vehicle cameras and give the consumer more control over their personal information.”
Vehicle camera technology has evolved in recent years from the ubiquitous back-up cameras and blind-spot monitoring systems to newer in-vehicle cameras that enhance driver safety by monitoring impaired or distracted driving. However, there is increasing concern that such cameras could also be exploited by data brokers and other third parties who would sell driver and passenger images without regard to consumer privacy.
Existing law offers some protections but gaps remain. In response, Sen. Dodd introduced Senate Bill 296, would place restrictions on the retention and transfer of video recordings from in-vehicle cameras. Under provisions of the bill, consumers would not have to take action to prevent their in-vehicle video recordings from being collected without their permission or knowledge. And the bill would not prevent the use of cameras for traffic safety.
The bill, which is supported by Consumer Federation of California, was introduced Thursday and is expected to be heard in committee next month. It is similar to a bill from Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, that was introduced in the Legislature in 2022. Sen. Dodd was the co-author of California’s landmark Consumer Privacy Act and numerous other related consumer protections.
“Consumers should know if their cars have inward facing cameras that may be recording them and their passengers, and auto companies should not be able to use these videos without a consumer’s clear consent,” said Robert Herrell, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California. “AB 296 would make California the first state in the country to give consumers meaningful control over these types of in-vehicle cameras. We thank Sen. Dodd for authoring this important legislation.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at www.senate.ca.gov/dodd.