Technology is a part and parcel of our daily lives. It is used in every sector of our daily works. It is as necessary as Oxygen for living. For shopping, selling, paying bills, walking, jogging, traveling, eating, singing, and dancing, we use some sort of technological device.
What we are trying to say is that we are voyaging in the vast ocean of technological devices. Some devices do us good but sometimes some of them do us bad. Sometimes, we find ourselves in unnecessary trouble because we don’t know the laws regarding some devices. One such device is the Security Camera.
Let us guess, you have security cameras installed in your house, doorstep, front yard, or garden yard. You ever wonder that you can get into real trouble for these? Do you know if you have to put up signs for these security cameras? Yes, there are some laws regarding the video or audio recording of your security cameras.
The laws are different in different states, or county to county, or even city to city. This article will familiarize you with some basic laws of some states regarding your security cameras. So, scroll down and know if you have to put up signs for your security cameras.
What Is A Security Camera?
First, we would like to familiarize you with security cameras. And how it works. We would also like to let you know some quick benefits too. After that, we will start figuring out the laws regarding security cameras. A Security Camera is a video and audio capturing device. It can capture video and audio as well as transmit them. It transmits the data as real-time footage.
You can store this footage and recheck them for inquiry in the time of need. They are of two major types. They are Wireless and Wired. They work differently. Wireless Security cameras do not need a wire connection to transmit the data.
It can transmit the data through Wi-Fi to the local platform. Again, it can store data in cloud storage. You can download any footage and keep them in your storage. On the other hand, wired security cameras need a wire connection to transmit the data. This type of security camera transmits the footage to the system of security camera, and then to your local device.
You can connect your local monitor to the security camera system to watch a live feed. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Here we will quickly take a note about some benefits of these two.
Benefits Of Security Cameras
Security Cameras can do a lot of good to your homes and businesses. It increases the safety of your territory dramatically. We will discuss some of the benefits briefly here to make this article worth reading for everyone, to make it a complete package to all kinds of readers.
- Deter Criminals: Installing security cameras keeps the robbers away. They find it difficult to break in. So, they do not make a move for it.
- Record Footage: Security Cameras record footage. If your house falls victim, though it is most unlikely to happen, you can recheck the recorded footage by your security cameras. Thus, you can help the police to track down the evil forces.
- Live Feed from a Distance: Nowadays, security cameras transmit data to cloud storage. Security cameras can also send a live feed to a distant place. So, you can always keep an eye on your home even though you are away and your house is empty.
- Take Care of the Family Members: Let’s think you have a very lively child. It always tries to go outside and play in the front yard or the garden. Now you can always keep an eye on him/her if you have security cameras installed. Sometimes, you hire a babysitter for your child if you are busy working outside your home regularly. Security cameras help you to inquire how the babysitter is doing the job.
- Insurance Claim: If you have recorded footage of the burglary, you have suffered lately, you can use this footage to claim your insurance. This footage will help you to validate your claim.
- Prevent Shoplifting: If you have a business like any kind of store, security cameras can help you big time. It prevents shoplifting and theft done by your employees or a burglar.
- Care for your Customer: An installed security system in your business place uplifts the spirit of your customers. It injects a sense of security and trust in them on your business company.
- Deter the Robbers: Security Cameras installed in your store can effectively deter robbers. If they see the security cameras, they are most likely to abort their mission.
- Improves Productivity: Security Cameras installed in offices improve the productivity of the employees. As they are being watched, they can be more serious and attentive to their projects.
- Additional Security Personnel: If you have security cameras installed in your territory, you might need fewer security guards and personnel to employ. This saves a lot of money from your safety budget.
Tons of benefits of installing Security Cameras, right? But if you do not know the laws regarding them, they can get you into problems. Let’s read this below.
Do you have To Put Up Signs If You Have Security Cameras?
Well, you have successfully installed your security cameras we guess. Now, do you wonder about putting up signs? It depends on some factors. Factors like which state or city you are living in. As we have already told you that different states have different laws. Another factor is that where you are filming. There are some laws on private places.
Another factor is whether you are recording audio too along with video footage or not. If we put it simply, the answer to the question is that you don’t have to put up signs for your security cameras as long as you abide by the laws of the state you are living in. That means if it is easy to maintain the law by putting up a sign, you can certainly do it.
At this point, we feel the necessity to discuss the federal law of the United States regarding Security Cameras. Let’s check it out below.
Federal Laws On Security Cameras
Federal law is a type of law that applies for all across the United States, but except for those states who have created their versions of the federal laws. There are two federal laws regarding security cameras or video and audio recording. These are as follows.
1. Before describing the first law, we would like to introduce you to the term ‘expectation of privacy.’ The term means that there are some places that people generally expect to be private. Washrooms, changing rooms, bedrooms, hotel rooms, locker rooms, and bathrooms are examples. This federal law says that you cannot record video in those places where people have an ‘expectation of privacy.
So, from this law, we learn that you can record footage with security cameras in public places where people do not expect to be private. You can put a security camera on your front door if you like. But be careful that your cameras do not capture the bedrooms of your neighbors. So, regarding this law, you can put a security camera in public places without putting up a sign for it, as long as your cameras do not record audio (we will discuss this fact in the next law).
Now another thought appears whether you can record video of your bedroom or not. Yes, you can most certainly do it as it is your private bedroom. But we recommend not to do it. Because some guests visiting your bedroom might not like it.
2. The second federal law is about audio recording. Some security cameras record audio along with video footage. According to this law, you cannot record audio with your security cameras without the consent of one of the parties involved in the audio conversation. So, if you are one of the persons involved in the audio conversation in your recorded footage, that should not be a problem, according to this law.
So, we assume that, if you put up a sign and record two persons’ audio conversations, it will still be illegal. Because putting up a sign and getting consent are two different things. So, we recommend you use security cameras in public places that do not record audio. As for this law, 13 states of the USA have created their versions. According to these states, you need the consent of all the parties involved in an audio conversation to record with your security cameras.
State Laws on Security Cameras
Some states in the United States of America have specific laws on security cameras. Let’s check them out before you install them.
- Georgia: In this state, the security camera is legal for private places. But the condition is that you have to put the cameras in plain sight. So, here the signs come into play. If you live in Georgia, then set the security cameras in plain sight and put up signs. You should not face any legal issues.
- Tennessee, Michigan, and Utah: In these states, the laws indicate that you don’t need any permission to record footage in public places. But you do need to get consent for private places.
- Florida, Alabama, and Minnesota: Here it is legal to record only in public places.
- New Hampshire, Maine, Kansas, South Dakota, and Delaware: In these states, it is forbidden to record where people think it to be a private place. You cannot use hidden cameras to record footage without consent.
Why Do People Put Up Signs?
After evaluating the laws regarding security cameras, we can certainly say that you do not necessarily need to put up signs for your security cameras. The only thing that is a must is to maintain the laws. Sometimes, people put up signs maybe because they want to deter the rogue guys in the first place. In most cases, signs are meant to be potential threats to keep the people in check and balance.
Frequently Asked Question :
Are Hidden Cameras Legal?
It is illegal to photograph someone in a situation where they would normally expect privacy, such as in their home or through their bedroom window, the general use of hidden cameras to monitor behavior and security has been upheld as legal within limitations.
Where Can I Point My Outdoor Cameras?
Outdoor security cameras are used to monitor the activity around a home or business. These devices are often installed on the exterior walls of buildings, focused on doorways and windows. They are also placed near entry points – driveways, gates, etc.
Do You Need To Register Your Security Camera or System?
If you are thinking about installing a wireless security camera, data can help. There are no FCC regulations regarding video data cams, so there is no requirement to register your data security cam or data system with the government. However, some municipalities have local ordinances that may apply to data cams, including registration requirements for data systems.
Do I Need To Post That I Have Cameras?
I have been asked by several real estate agents to post a sign stating that I have security cameras installed on my property. Is this a necessity? “No, you do not need to post a sign stating the presence of your cameras”.
Can You Record Someone Without Permission?
Recording security camera footage in public places is legal. But it’s illegal to record security footage in private places.
The Bottom Lines
Security Cameras benefit us in tons of ways. It increases our safety. It is not necessary to put up signs if you have security cameras. Maintaining the federal and state laws is all that is necessary. We further recommend you consult with a lawman before installing your Security Cameras. Your safety is our priority.