Security cameras are double-edged swords when it comes to privacy. As the owner you undoubtedly see them as righteous tools to protect your property, valuables and most importantly your peace of mind. However, your guests and neighbors might have a different opinion as they fear that this army of recorders might be utilized to secretly spy on them. The truth is that there is a clear line between legally acceptable surveillance and unlawful filming. Since the latter could mean several thousand dollars in fines and perhaps even some jail time, it’s important to learn about the ins and outs of using security cameras.
Your Own House vs Neighbor’s House
It goes without saying that you have the right to set up security recorders around your home. However, it’s important to note that the devices should be turned at an angle that means the field of view won’t reach the neighbor’s property, otherwise you will be violating their privacy rights. The most prudent action is to point the cameras slightly downwards or aim them only at your front yard and driveway. And if you are on the receiving end of such surveillance, it’s possible to counteract the situation by setting up LED lights to blind your neighbor’s devices or ask the police to settle the dispute.
Public vs Private Surveillance
The situation has different implications depending on the location of where the cameras have been installed. Even though the wiretapping and surveillance laws are different in each state, they are all based on the idea of ‘expectancy of privacy’. In brief, security cameras are only allowed where the targets can’t have the assumption of privacy. This includes public areas such as parks and commercial areas where people eat, shop or will travel through. Interestingly, your own home doesn’t belong to this category and therefore you must ask for the consent of your guests before activating the cameras.
Video Only vs Video and Audio
It’s important to know that you cannot avoid the accusations of invasion of privacy by blaming the subjects who should have noticed the cameras. The information must be shared beforehand in a clear and understandable manner. The signs sold by home security companies aren’t just for show, they serve this purpose perfectly. You must also mention the fact that the recorders are capable of recording audio as well as video, if applicable. If the answer is yes, then you must mention it. Generally speaking, people on your property must be fully aware of your surveillance’s capabilities, even if they are switched off or inactive.
More Security Camera FAQs
- Are Security Cameras an Invasion of Privacy?
- Are Security Cameras Worth It?
- Does a Security Camera Deter Burglars?
- Does a Security Camera Need Wi-Fi?
- Does a Security Camera Record Audio?
- Is It Legal to Put a Camera in a Bathroom?
- Should a Security Camera Be Hidden or Visible?
- What Should I Look for in a Security Camera?
- Will a Security Camera Work Behind Glass?
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