CE Pro: Surveillance Cameras Inside the Home

Home technology integrator wants to know: What are the laws on installing secret nanny-cams in a customer’s home? Security and home-automation attorney Ken Kirschenbaum responds.

Much has been written about the legality of surveillance cameras in public spaces. In general, you can’t put them in places where there is an expectation of privacy.

But what about inside a private home? Is it legal to monitor people inside your own home without their knowing? Furthermore, could a home technology integrator be liable for installing covert cameras for customers who may use them illegally?

Ken Kirschenbaum, a leading attorney in the security and home automation field, and a contributer to CE Pro’s sister publication Security Sales & Integration, responds to readers in his free email newsletter (edited slightly for grammar and context).

What are the laws on installing secret nanny-cams in one of our customer’s homes? She wants to put them in public areas (living room, kitchen, etc.) which from what we understand is okay as long as there is no audio. The part we are unsure about is that she also wants one installed in the child’s bedroom. We have not been able to find any reliable information on this matter.
Kirschenbaum Reply: You can get a head start researching audio video laws on our Website. Audio and video is permitted in the home as long as the data is not misused. A parent can consent to audio and video on behalf of a child, but again be mindful of misuse of the data. But it’s not likely that the installer would face civil or criminal charges for installations requested by a home owner. Obviously I am talking about a single-family dwelling occupied by the owner. Landlords spying on tenants is not permitted and you shouldn’t install if you know that is the intended use. http://www.cepro.com/article/legal_surveillance_cameras_inside_the_home
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