Whether you want to install a security camera in a business or a home, you might be wondering whether security cameras are allowed in bathrooms. Bathrooms can be access points to the outdoors, and crime can happen in bathrooms for businesses. Bathrooms are even one of the most dangerous rooms of your home. Here are three important facts that you need to know before installing cameras.
1. Cameras Aren’t Allowed in Areas Where People Expect Privacy
If there’s an expectation of privacy in an area, then you can’t have a camera. Settings with an expectation of privacy include but are not limited to commercial bathrooms and changing rooms. But it can be a gray area, as well; what about a bedroom? Certainly the homeowner has an expectation of privacy in the bathroom, but other people, such as nannies or house cleaners, might not.
One thing for certain is that bathrooms are nearly always considered an area where someone can expect privacy. Because of that, security cameras aren’t allowed in bathrooms. But security cameras can be allowed outside of bathrooms. If you’re concerned about someone taking merchandise into a bathroom or entering into a home bathroom, you can position cameras outside doors and windows in a way that they can’t see in.
2. Security Cameras Are Still Regularly Found in Bathrooms
Despite the fact that bathrooms are off limits to security cameras, employees still often report that they’ve found cameras in bathrooms. Nannies, house cleaners, and even tenants occasionally report that they’ve found security cameras as well.
The presence of a security camera in a bathroom doesn’t mean their placement is legal, so homeowners shouldn’t assume that it’s possible for a security camera to be in their home because they haven’t found it.
If you are a property owner and want to know where you can place surveillance cameras, of if you believe someone has invaded your privacy through the use of an improperly located camera, you should contact an attorney.
Because cameras are a relatively complex area of law, those who want to know whether they can place surveillance cameras in a specific area should contact an attorney for guidance. They can tell you whether your home security ideas are reasonable. In short, cameras are generally considered illegal if:
- The other party is not aware or has not consented to them.
- The other party has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
3. Security Cameras Can Be Anywhere With Permission
On the other hand, it’s important to note that anyone can be filmed with permission. If you have a private bathroom and you and your spouse both know that a security camera is in that bathroom, you have eliminated the problem entirely. You and your spouse are the only ones who use that bathroom, and thus, you are allowed to put a camera in it.
But this assumes that no one else ever uses that bathroom and, more importantly, there is a warning posted somewhere on that bathroom. Should a house cleaner go into that bathroom, they would have a reasonable expectation of privacy because bathrooms can be reasonably expected to be private.
It would be an interesting case should a burglar enter or exit through that bathroom, as no one has a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are trespassing. This is a situation that could be argued either way.
Ultimately, positioning a security camera inside of a bathroom is risky enough that you might as well not bother. It’s more likely to be illegal than not. In commercial areas, it’s often not legal full stop, even with warnings. In your own home, you may be able to get away with it… but you’re still going to be at risk if someone uses your bathroom without knowing that a security camera is in there. You can get around this issue by putting cameras outside of the bathroom and not pointed into the bathroom instead.
Where Should I Put Security Cameras In My Home?
If you don’t feel like fussing with the legalities that come with placing a security camera in your bathroom, don’t worry. There are many other great places you can keep a security camera in your home. Keep reading for answers on “where should I put security cameras in my home?”
Close to Your Expensive Items
You know that 70-inch flat-screen television you got for a sweet deal on Black Friday? Or the expensive handbag and wad of hundred-dollar bills you have lying around your bedroom? These are all items you should monitor with a security camera. Why? Because they’re items a burglar would show an interest in taking and making their own. Keep an eye on these items by installing a security camera close to pricey items like these.
Close to Your Home’s Main Entry Points
A quick tip for finding the right spot to place your security camera is to think like a burglar. How would they enter your home? The answer is probably going to be through your main entry points.
According to cnet.com, the front door, back door and first-floor windows are frequent entryways for burglars. Therefore these are all great places for you to keep a security camera.
Popular Rooms or Stairways
Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in popular spots in your home, like the living room or kitchen, with a security camera. Keeping your security camera in spots like these is wise for many reasons. For example, that 70-inch flat screen you got on Black Friday is probably in the living room. Having a security camera nearby will keep an eye out on these items.
Stairways lead to important points of entry in your home. Burglars will use these to enter your home. Install a security camera in a stairway to monitor unusual movement.
If you have further questions about home security, don’t just guess. Contact the professionals at Protect America.