Private Investigations and Personal Security/Cameras

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Question
My question is regarding the legality of video used for security in a business. Can security video legally have audio also, or must it be purely video? I think at least in court all videos must be all video, no audio? What legal issues are there with video survelience?

Answer
James,

It is imperative that you check the laws of your state.  Each state differs widely in how they view this issue.  For example, Massachusetts is a "two party consent" state.  This means that any type of recording must be consensual by BOTH parties involved.  In contrast, Rhode Island is a "one party consent" state.  Only one party needs to know that a recording is taking place.  Audio becomes a separate issue altogether.

The underlying principle is that video particularly is only allowable in public places or common areas.  Anywhere that you would normally have an expectation of privacy (bathroom, changing area, etc.), recording is generally NOT allowed.  For businesses, the general rule is that it is acceptable as long as the employees are told about the system.  Again, this varies from state to state.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Sean C.

Private Investigations and Personal Security

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Sean Carroll

Expertise

I can answer just about any question which relates to police work, personal security, home & business security, or general law.

Experience

I am a 9 year veteran of a major metropolitan police department as a Major Crimes Detective. I have prior experience in the private security sector as well. I also previously owned a security solutions business where we specialized in digital security and surveillance systems including residential and commercial alarms.

Education/Credentials
I have both a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Criminal Justice.

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