What are the legal requirements for me to audio tape at my home or business?

THE LAW: REGARDING AUDIO SURVEILLANCE United States Codes, Title 18, Section 2510 (2) states: “Oral communication means any “oral communication” uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation.” By definition of the code section, a person cannot have an expectation of privacy, nor can he or she expect that communication will not be intercepted, if there are public signs posted, indicating that the communication is being monitored. The First Amendment of the Constitution provides that any conversation between individuals is private, unless otherwise notified.

In simple terms, this means that ANY overhearing or recording of a conversation is
illegal ... unless both parties are aware that it is being done. In order to comply with
the law, SVC notifies all customers that a disclaimer stating, “AUDIO MONITORING ON THESE PREMISES.” MUST be affixed, IN PLAIN VIEW, to all entrances where microphones are installed.

Is it legal for me to video tape at my home or business?

In general, most video recordings are legal in the U.S. with or without consent. Laws do exist regarding “Invasion of Privacy” which deals with the area of expected privacy. These include areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms, changing/dressing rooms, adult bedrooms, and other areas where a person should expect a high level of personal privacy. While the majority of laws dealing with video recording privacy issues tend to allow surreptitious recording and monitoring of video activity under most circumstances without notification of any of the parties involved, it is highly recommended that you consult with your local or state law enforcement or an attorney who specializes in this area to comply with all local laws and regulations prior to utilization of video surveillance and monitoring. It is also advised that
notice/disclaimer of “Video Surveillance on These Premises,” be prominently displayed in
public areas.

When is covert video surveillance illegal?

The subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy. (Fourth Amendment rights)

The subject is engaged in sexual activity (even if one of the partners consents.)

If audio eavesdropping is also taking place (without consent of the parties and/or

When may covert video surveillance illegal?

The person with authority over the premises has not consented.

The reason for the video surveillance fosters an illegal purpose.

If under the Sixth Amendment principles the subject has the right to counsel.

When should covert video surveillance be avoided?

A less intrusive, legal investigative method is equally available.

Whenever you feel uncertain about the legality or ethics of the installation.


DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is general in nature and should
not be considered legal advice.