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10 Most Ignored CCTV Codes and Laws

Raghad Rabah - 2M CCTV

Raghad Rabah

Raghad Rabah - 2M CCTV


CCTV Code of Ethics


Let’s be honest, not all security integrators and installers take the proper precautions to make sure they aren’t violating any CCTV “laws” before installing. Many install them on the notion of protecting property, keeping an eye on employees, or some other common video surveillance goal. We forget that there are rules that we need to follow. It’s all fun and games until you go to court for misuse of CCTV video. Below you will find a list of 10 most ignored codes or laws for security camera usage for the distributor and the consumer. So avoid getting in trouble by taking a look at this list of laws and code of conduct.


What are the most ignored CCTV codes?


Cameras at the Workplace

Cameras at the Workplace (image from compendiumblog.com)

Staff should be informed of any cameras placed in their working area:

This is a courtesy act, but is not required, unless the cameras are observing unionized labor workers. In the case of a union, they must be notified if a hidden camera is going to be installed and used. Cameras are usually placed in working areas to keep employees on their best behavior, and warning them they are being watched is only fair. Some employment contracts may include a clause about hidden cameras.


Sales staff should inform the consumer of the advantages and weaknesses of each product:
Not all customers are tech savvy and know how to read spec sheets, so it is the salesperson's responsibility to enlighten the client of such things.   This is often overlooked and ignored, but not at 2mcctv. Our staff always offers the best products we have, and will list for you any disadvantages a product has.


Educate Your Customers

Educate Your Customers (image from sanfranciscoemploymentlawfirm.com)

Sales Staff need to communicate to the customer how to maintain product:
This includes how to clean it and how to install it in order to keep the product working and in good shape.  Our expert sales staff at 2mcctv always educates our customers on our products and are trained to ask about the area the camera will be installed in to give corresponding care instructions.


Police Surveillance Laws

Police Surveillance Laws (image from eastjordancity.org)

Police are limited in their surveillance operations:
Because of the fourth amendment, police cannot install cameras with audio surveillance without a warrant. For instance, installing ‘bugs’ for investigations may be permissible if they have a probable cause. A public phone booth, however, is a place where installing audio surveillance is not permissible.


Except for law enforcement purposes, footage should not be given to any other third party:
This code is completely disregarded. Sometimes videos are posted online for entertainment or other purposes. If you go to youtube and search CCTV, you will find many videos there, which is in complete violation of this code.


Home Privacy and Nanny Cams

Home Privacy and Nanny Cams (image from protectussecurity.com)

Although nannies do not have to be notified, it is still courteous to tell her she is being observed:
In a court ruling between State v. Diaz, the footage of the nanny abusing the child was used as evidence even though it came from a hidden camera. This was ruled under the notion that one should not expect privacy in other people’s homes.


Cameras should be positioned only to view the premises:
Anything outside of your property is not your business, so anybody not visiting your property should not be caught on your footage. Some states prohibit cameras from pointing into other people’s houses or backyards, as it is a violation of privacy.  You can use Privacy Making to block out sensitive areas that you do not wish to monitor.


Some states require security cameras in certain areas:
Some states, such as New York, require the installation of cameras at certain cabarets and public dance halls. This is required in the case of a crime, and is given to the cops immediately for investigation.


Audio Surveillance Privacy

Audio Surveillance Privacy (image from visualphotos.com)

Regardless of the state, it is almost always illegal to record a conversation to which you are not a party, do not have consent to tape, and could not naturally overhear (RCFP):
This means any situation in which you would have eavesdropped on that conversation but recorded it, is illegal. In the following states, the one recording must notify everyone being recorded that the recording is taking place: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington.


It is prohibited to place hidden cameras in 13 states in private places:
The states of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Utah prohibit the placement and use of covert cameras without the permission of those being recorded. They must be warned that they are being watched and recorded. So what is a private place? It is anywhere where the person has an expectation of privacy, or outside of the public sector, i.e., bathroom, locker room, hotel room, or fitting room.


Go to this website and click on your state to see the specific laws there, and if audio surveillance is allowed: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press 


So when you are installing your surveillance system, make sure to abide by these rules. This will ensure your videos will be admissible as evidence in a court of law. When signing your employment contract, pay attention to the small things they add in there. Read our upcoming article on time and date stamps.

Related posts:

  1. CCTV with Audio: 3 Things to Know
  2. Retail Loss Prevention Using CCTV Systems
  3. Security Cameras: An Invasion of Privacy or Crime Deterrent?
  4. Know When And Why To Use Hidden Security Cameras
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