Homeowners install and monitor security cameras to catch criminal or other wrongful acts. For most people, this is a clear-cut passive defense. However, there are times when recording or sharing recorded video are unlawful. Three of these instances are rather surprising. They are:
- A Rented Home May Have Security Cameras
- Putting a Hidden Home Video Online May Be Illegal
- Hidden Nanny Cameras May Be Illegal
1. A Rented Home May Have Security Cameras
Who doesn’t love a vacation? In times past, people would often find a hotel in their destination city. The Internet has made it easier to find additional places to stay. Websites such as Airbnb.com allow homeowners to list their home for rent for a certain period of time. Here’s the surprising part: indoor hidden cameras are sometimes legal in rental properties. Granted, this depends on the state and city, so homeowners will have to check their local ordinances. While a hidden camera might be legal in this situation, Airbnb forbids its use. Part of the company policy states:
“If you’re a host and you have any type of surveillance device in or around a listing, even if it’s not turned on or hooked up, we require that you indicate its presence in your House Rules.”
2. Putting a Hidden Home Video Online May Be Illegal
It’s normally lawful to record footage from a hidden camera inside a home. However, sharing this footage to the public, especially via the Internet, is likely illegal. If the parties involved are not aware of the recording, uploading the video might be a federal offense which could result in jail time.
Home domain offers many protections to the homeowner. However, when video footage leaves the home, it goes from private to public. People may not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the town square. They do, however, have a reasonable expectation of privacy inside of the home.
3. Hidden Nanny Cameras May Be Illegal
Parents strive to protect their children at all times. This includes the desire to monitor a babysitter while the parents are away. This includes setting up a hidden “nanny camera” which monitors the room where the child and babysitter spend time. Depending on the type of camera, this act might be illegal.
The questionable part of nanny cameras are possible audio that is captured. 38 states allow homeowners to record conversations within the home even if the recorded party is unaware of the recording. The other 12 states require the homeowner notify the babysitter that a camera is present and is recording video and audio.
Security Camera Concerns
Any concerns about legality issues should be consulted with an attorney. What seems like common sense doesn’t always translate to an action being legal. This is especially true with hidden security cameras inside a home. To make matters more interesting, states and cities have different laws regarding surveillance.
We at Protect America have a wide variety of home security equipment. Take a look at our home security cameras to learn more. Homeowners may also contact us and we will answer any questions regarding home security. Callers may receive a free, no-obligation quote during the call to help them betterer learn about our products.