How These New Security Camera Laws Could Affect You
With an increasing number of surveillance cameras installed throughout the country, many states are moving quickly to introduce new legislation. These laws ensure that the latest security technologies do not violate people’s privacy.
Consequently, there are laws protecting citizens in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. It includes washrooms, locker rooms, changing areas, and bedrooms at bed-and-breakfast hotels. To reiterate, they have the right not to be recorded in these places.
So, what does the law allow? To help you figure this out, Pro Video Security has explained a few unknown security camera laws below.
Please understand we are not attorneys and are not offering any legal advice. Please consult with your attorney before making any decisions concerning privacy.
Eavesdropping is not allowed
The general public should also not have to be concerned about their private conversations getting eavesdropped on by security cameras containing audio aspects. Therefore, we always caution clients about how they use security recording equipment.
For example, in Illinois, our business base, the audio recording laws are some of the strictest in the country. It’s an all-party consent state, meaning that you must take everyone’s permission before you record audio.
However, many security cameras come with built-in audio. If you turn the feature on, you run the risk of listening in on conversations without permission. It has got at least one of my clients in hot water where the local police prosecuted him for the felony of eavesdropping.
Camera placement is critical
You also have to be aware of where you’re placing your cameras, especially outdoors. If you point a camera at a neighbor’s window, and it shows activities inside the home, that is also considered a crime in Illinois.
A sign is not consent
Despite many people in society being aware of the privacy concerns regarding surveillance cameras with audio, you will be surprised at the number of people that still come to our store requesting them.
We have to take the time to educate them properly, as many people believe that if you put up a sign, then you have the consent to record audio and video, but this is not the case. At best, a sign for video security is a good deterrent for unruly behavior as it lets people know that they are being recorded.
Don’t be deterred - Get to know the rules!
After learning about the consequences of violating privacy laws, it may make you think twice about installing security cameras altogether. But, surveillance systems protect your family and employees from danger. As a result, if you keep in mind reasonable expectations of privacy, you should get peace of mind that you’re not breaking the law.
For instance, don’t mount a security camera pointing into your neighbors’ window unless they have requested for you to watch their house. Even then, you may want to get it in writing, as tomorrow you may disagree with your neighbor, and they may call the police.
In terms of audio and video inside homes, be aware that minor children don’t have a right, and it is permissible for you to record them. Otherwise, many parents would get sued for privacy invasion if they fix a camera at their entrance.
Remember, though, that if you have a minor or teenage child, they could object to having a camera in the room or for audio recording.
On a final note, to be on the safe side, check your local and federal laws when introducing new security measures. While federal laws are typically one-party audio consent, they vary from state to state.
If you’re planning to install security cameras and need some more advice, reach out to us today!
With many years of experience in security system installation and maintenance in Chicago, Morton Grove, IL, Pro Video Security can help you with all your security camera needs. We offer meticulous support with innovative security solutions and specialize in video surveillance, access control, intercom, and alarm monitoring systems.