Is It Illegal To Video Record Someone Without Their Consent
Owning a smartphone makes it very easy for us to snap a photo or take a video of anything. But this becomes a concern when we start recording a person. Is it illegal to video record someone without their consent? And when is it OK to video record someone? These are just some of the things we will discuss on video recording and consent.
Video Recording And Consent – Things You Need To Know
We don't know what might push someone to want to record a video. But if we're going to know the answer to the question, “Is it illegal to video record someone without their consent?” we have to start answering important questions along the way:
- When are you allowed to record someone?
Factors, like state laws and federal laws have specific and situational provisions about recording and consent.
Generally, when you are in a public area, it is legal to video record or audio record someone, as long as "an expectation of privacy" is not present. Generally, in public, a reasonable expectation of privacy is not present, making it legal to record people.
- What is "an expectation of privacy?"
Situational examples of a reasonable expectation of privacy:
- A phone conversation – You cannot record someone you are conversing with on the phone unless there is consent.
- Your own home – People cannot record you in your own home.
- Two types of consent implemented by different states:
- One-party consent – One person involved in the recording of an audio or video consents.
- All-party consent – Everyone involved in the recording of an audio or video consents.
NOTE: People can set rules in private establishments. If Starbucks tells you that you can't record in their establishment, they can enforce the rules. Insistence is a violation of their rules and will result in trespassing should you refuse to stop recording and refuse to leave.
Can you take a picture of someone at the subway? Is it illegal to video record someone without their consent in a subway? You cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a subway, which makes it OK.
Etiquette When Recording A Video In Public
A lot of legalities and situational technicalities are involved when you're recording someone. Most of the time, what we need is an etiquette refresh. Is it illegal to videotape someone without their consent? If it is legal, am I still being considerate?
Here are some guidelines you can personally check when you find yourself at a loss in this situation:
- Does the person or group have a reasonable expectation of privacy?
- If you're in a private establishment, did the property owner permit you to record?
- Were you asked, at any point, to stop recording?
- Are you a hindrance to someone who is trying to do their job?
- Are you affecting their work and the quality of their work?
In a perfect world, owning a smartphone should come with responsibility as significant as its price. But in reality, we have to grapple with more complicated situations. To answer the question, “Is it illegal to video record someone without their consent?” The answer can be personal and beyond legal. If you were in the same situation, would it be alright with you?