Laws that govern how individuals can use hidden security cameras vary from state to state. Many people believe that the use of security cameras infringes on an individual's right to privacy. However, there are no strict federal regulations outlining privacy rights regarding security cameras. Cameras that are hidden and in places that people commonly expect privacy are sometimes prohibited by state law.
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- Computer with Internet access
Research your state laws regarding security cameras and how they can be used on the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation Web site (see Resources below). Many states do not consider using hidden security cameras to be breaking privacy laws.
Contact your local law enforcement for local security camera regulations and local privacy laws to make sure you are legally installing your cameras before you begin to record.
Post a sign or notice outside of your place of business or home informing people of the fact that you are employing the use of a security camera for your protection. If individuals are properly informed that they are being filmed, they can choose whether or not to enter your house or place of business if they do not want to be caught on camera. This way you might avoid breaking privacy laws.
Get advice from a lawyer in your state about breaking privacy laws and explain how you intend to use security cameras. A lawyer will be able to tell you about your liability and any privacy laws you might potentially be breaking before you install the cameras.
Ensure that you avoid using hidden security cameras in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. These areas include bathrooms, bedrooms, dressing rooms and other places where privacy is expected.
Tips and warnings
- Research both audio and video regulations in your state to ensure you are using your security camera legally.
- Be aware that although individual privacy rights are protected federally, there are no federal statutes regarding video surveillance in relation to legally using security cameras. Knowledge of state and local laws is critical to ensure compliance with privacy laws.