Having a surveillance system set up in your business or home has many benefits for protection and security. However, it’s important to remember that there are some surveillance guidelines to follow to avoid legal troubles.
- Notify parties of cameras being used: Although this surveillance guideline is not a federal law, it’s a courtesy to give people the heads up that they will be recorded. However, do take note that it is required to give notice to unionized labor workers if hidden cameras are present.
- Have written recording policies: When notifying people that they will be recorded, it’s important to have everything in writing. Having a written policy will clearly explain intentions and protocol to protect you in case something were to happen.
- Cameras should only record your premises: Cameras are useful for monitoring, but they should only monitor your property. For example, you should not be positioning cameras to record the inside of a neighbor’s house or backyard. Ignoring this surveillance guideline is an invasion of privacy.
- Hidden cameras are prohibited in private spaces: This surveillance guideline is important because many states prohibit the installation and use of hidden cameras in private spaces. A private space is anywhere a person expects a high amount of privacy, like a hotel room, fitting room, bathroom, etc.
- Video footage should not be given to 3rd parties: Video recordings should only be privy to the eyes of the person who owns the cameras and the person who was recorded. The only acceptable 3rd party are law enforcement officials for evidence and investigation purposes. CCTV footage shouldn’t be posted online or shown to other people for entertainment or other reasons.
- Even law enforcement have limitations: Due to the 4th amendment, even police officers must abide by some surveillance guidelines. Typically, police officers need to have a warrant to record you without you knowing by establishing probable cause.
- Be careful of wiretapping laws: If you have surveillance systems that are capable of recording audio, be sure to look up your state’s surveillance guidelines. There are some states that permit recording if at least one of the parties involved (could be you) consents. Other states require both parties to consent. However, recording a conversation that you could not naturally overhear and doesn’t have the consent of one party is illegal in all states.
- Intent is important: Installing a surveillance system should only be used for protection and prevention purposes. You should not be recording anyone with malicious intentions or for blackmail.
Video surveillance is useful to have for protection, but be mindful of other people. Video surveillance should never be used to infringe on someone’s privacy or have bad intentions. Surveillance is a tool to help you monitor your property to keep it safe, not as a way to spy on others.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any more questions. You can call us at 877-926-2288 or connect with us on social media