Recording of Individuals Without Their Consent
CAVEAT: BELOW INFORMATION IS FOR DISCUSSION ONLY AND NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE
A new and perhaps growing issue for UVU is the role of recorded video/audio shot by individuals either on campus or in the name of the institution. This page intends to start the discussion of what the issues (and guidelines) are for this issue across the United States as well as a UVU.
Recording of Individuals Without Their ConsentSo, what are the rules relating to recording of individuals without their consent and they are in a public place? Well, it depends what state you are in, and if you are including audio as well as video. The audio may cause you bigger problems.
Most video recordings are legal with or without consent. There are very few laws which prohibit video recording of any kind, but there are laws in some areas dealing with areas of expected privacy.
Generally, it is perfectly legal to videotape or photograph any person and anything while on public property, except:
- You cannot take pictures of areas that are usually considered private such as bedrooms, bathrooms, changing rooms, locker rooms, hotel rooms and so on
- Certain public places have banned the use of cameras such as mass transit systems, courthouses, capital buildings, secured government buildings, jails or prisons unless you obtain written permission
- You cannot film or photograph if it interferes with police, fire, medical or emergency operations
There are also restrictions on videotaping and photographing on private property:
- If the private property is open to the public, such as retail stores, private stadiums or tourist areas, filming may be allowed unless there are signs posted that expressly forbid videotaping or photography
- If the private property belongs to someone other than a commercial business, you had better get the property owner's permission
See also Cameras in the Court: A State by State Guide athttp://www.rtdna.org/pages/media_items/cameras-in-the-court-a-state-by-state-guide55.php
Most audio recordings without consent of one or all parties are illegal.
View state by state summaries for Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C. at http://www.rcfp.org/first-amendment-handbook/introduction-recording-state-hidden-camera-statutes
See also Electronic Surveillance Laws athttp://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/TelecommunicationsInformationTechnology/ElectronicSurveillanceLaws/tabid/13492/Default.aspx(this mostly has to do with interception of audio though -- wiretapping)
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 the person doing the recording has to give consent and 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 all of the other parties that the recording is taking place and they must consent to the recording.
Source: http://www.palmvid.com/content/support/legal-information-regarding-audio-and-video-recording.html (this site also has an unofficial list of which states are one party versus two party consent).
Examples of where there have been issues on privacy versus rights to record:Police fight cellphone recording
Do you have thoughts on this issue? If so, post your comments or questions at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=103955250944&ref=ts in the WRS Facebook group.