Make Sure You're Recording People With Your Home Security Cameras Legally

Make Sure You're Recording People With Your Home Security Cameras Legally

It's never been easier to set up your own home security system. However, if your cameras can record audio, depending on the state or territory you live in, you could run afoul of privacy laws if you don't have consent from people who visit your home.

As product review site The Wirecutter points out, setting up cameras to keep an eye on your home is perfectly fine. Recording, on the other hand, can introduce some legal complications. Especially if you record audio in a state that requires dual consent.

Video and audio recordings have different legal guidelines and there are worlds of nuance to navigate. For example, you'd obviously be allowed to watch a live feed of your front door, but if you put a camera in your bathroom and recorded your guests, you'd up in legal trouble even if it's technically on your property. Laws vary slightly from state to state, so you'll have to check your local laws for specifics, but it's worth doing before you set up your security system.


Comments

    For your home.... In EVERY SINGLE STATE

    "If the conversation is loud enough for you to hear it, in a place where you or other people may hear it, use of a Listening Device is not restricted."

    If they say it outside your home, in the garden, driveway, on the footpath, on the road it's not restricted.

    Here are the relevant laws:

    ACT: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/act/consol_act/lda1992181
    NT: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nt/consol_act/sda2007210/
    TAS: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/tas/consol_act/lda1991181/
    SA: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol_act/lasda1972326/
    WA: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/sda1998210.txt
    QLD: http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/SUPERSED/I/InvasOfPrivA71_01A_.pdf
    NSW: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/sda2007210/
    Vic: http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/LTObject_Store/LTObjSt4.nsf/DDE300B846EED9C7CA257616000A3571/C93F9022F0F6BB34CA2577610032F3F3/%24FILE/99-21a020.pdf

      In Victoria at least, the Surveillance Devices Act states:

      ...a person must not knowingly install, use or maintain a listening device to overhear, record, monitor or listen to a private conversation to which the person is not a party, without the express or implied consent of each party to the conversation.

      ...which suggests the location of the conversation being recorded is irrelevant.

    ...Especially if you record audio in a state that requires dual consent.

    Like to give us a hint as to which states, LH? Even the link only says "...including NSW...".

    Last edited 25/09/16 1:56 pm

    How are businesses allowed to do it then? ie.. supermarkets. There's a sign out the front saying you agree to be recorded if you enter so im guessing that dual concent thing doesn't really apply here? (VIC)

    Store cameras nearly always only record video, not audio, and there's no reasonable right to privacy unless you're in a change room or toilet. The sign saying you consent to be recorded if you enter, well, you give consent when you enter. You can always shop elsewhere.

    The comments have given more information than the article did.

    Last edited 26/09/16 5:13 pm

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