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Legal information regarding audio and video recording


This information should not be considered as legal advice. Always check with an attorney.

Video Recording Laws:
Are hidden cameras legal to own and use?

Hidden video cameras are legal to sell, purchase, own, and possess in the USA.

The usage of hidden video cameras is legal in most cases, however the use may be illegal if the hidden cameras are used in prohibited areas. (read more below)


Video Recording Laws:
Is video recording legal without permission?

Most video recordings are legal with or without consent.

There are very few laws which prohibit video recording of any kind, but that being said there are some laws prohibiting video recordings in areas of expected privacy without consent.

These may 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.

Generally the majority of the 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.

So far, in some cases the courts have allowed video recordings of nannies, elder care employees, and other types of video recordings made with covert cameras without the subject's consent.


Audio Recording Laws:
Is audio recording legal without permission?

USA Federal and State laws require different levels of "consent" to record audio conversations.

Recording audio is very different from video. There are specific federal and state laws prohibiting surreptitious recording and monitoring of audio conversations. These laws are taken very seriously by authorities and failure to abide by them may result in severe consequences.

There are two types of defined recording situations for audio recording. They are usually referred to as "One Party Consent" and "Two Party Consent".

"One Party Consent" means that only one person (the person doing the recording) has to give consent consent to record the conversation. That means that person does not have to notify the other party or parties that the conversation is being recorded.

"Two Party Consent" means the person recording the conversation must notify both (or all) of the other parties that the audio recording is taking place and they all must consent to the recording.

USA Federal Law requires "One Party Consent" for audio recording
(SEE TABLE BELOW FOR INDIVIDUAL STATE LAWS)

Generally audio recordings without any "consent" of at least one (or all) parties to the conversation are illegal.


Audio Recording Laws:
Can regular security cameras have microphones?
Can hidden cameras have microphones?

There are other important Federal laws governing the legality of "audio recording devices" in the USA. These laws have nothing to do with "consent". These laws determine if security cameras with microphones/audio and hidden cameras with microphones/audio are legal or not.

Click here for laws about security cameras and hidden spy cameras with microphones and audio recording


Audio Recording Laws:
State Laws with "One party Consent" or "Two party Consent" for audio recording

Below is a list of states with links to the requirements regarding audio recording consent.

Note that these laws may change periodically so please check your states current laws before engaging in audio recording. If you know of a change or error, please inform us.


Alabama - Click Here
Alaska - Click Here
Arizona - Click Here
Arkansas - Click Here
California - Click Here
Colorado - Click Here
Connecticut - Click Here
Delaware - Click Here
District of Columbia - Click Here
Florida - Click Here
Georgia - Click Here
Hawaii - Click Here
Idaho - Click Here
Illinois - Click Here
Indiana - Click Here
Iowa - Click Here
Kansas - Click Here
Kentucky - Click Here
Louisiana - Click Here
Maine - Click Here
Maryland - Click Here
Massachusetts - Click Here
Michigan - Click Here
Minnesota - Click Here
Mississippi - Click Here
Missouri - Click Here
Montana - Click Here
Nebraska - Click Here
Nevada - Click Here
New Hampshire - Click Here
New Jersey - Click Here
New Mexico - Click Here
New York - Click Here
North Carolina - Click Here
North Dakota - Click Here
Ohio - Click Here
Oklahoma - Click Here
Oregon - Click Here
Pennsylvania - Click Here
Rhode Island - Click Here
South Carolina - Click Here
South Dakota - Click Here
Tennessee - Click Here
Texas - Click Here
Utah - Click Here
Vermont - Click Here
Virginia - Click Here
Washington - Click Here
West Virginia - Click Here
Wisconsin - Click Here
Wyoming - Click Here

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