Legal Issues Related to Surveillance Cameras

First widely used in the 1970s in high security settings such as banks and sensitive government facilities, video surveillance cameras have grown in popularity. Ranging from increased government use of surveillance to public safety to individual owners using hidden “nanny-cams,” cameras are now everywhere. While they may be useful tools, they also open up a lot of legal concerns. Privacy Concerns

According to A2zCamerablog, what may seem like the biggest legal problem with cameras – that invade privacy – is not really as legally significant as it may seem. In your home, you have the right to record what happens as long as it is not in a place where a person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as the toilet. In public street, there is very little expectation of privacy, so video surveillance is also legal.

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Liability Concerns

Having a video surveillance system can both create additional responsibility and protect you from liability. Being able to prove that you have made good faith efforts to keep people on your property safe through the installation of a video surveillance system can protect you if someone is injured in your property. On the other hand, you may also end up having to share your recordings with law enforcement if something happens on your property that is captured on tape.

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Concerns In The Workplace

In the workplace, you have to deal with two competing interests. Employers have a legitimate and right need to assist their employees. At the same time, employees retain some privacy rights while they are at work. workplace privacy laws vary in each state, but it is very common for video surveillance of bathrooms, locker rooms and breakout areas to be illegal, while surveillance of work areas is allowed.

Video, Audio Or Both

From a legal perspective, there is a significant difference between a video camera only and a camera that records audio along with the video. Federal anti-taping laws, which apply to audio recordings, are written to include cameras as well as phone errors or faucets. As such, if the camera is set to record audio, you will fall under even more legal scrutiny.

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