What To Know Legally
Say that you’re planning to put up security systems on your property or install them for a client, and you’ve already contacted your security camera provider for the installation, but you’re eventually confronted with the notion that your set-up is illegal. Yes, you heard it right! Placing up security cameras can be a legal battlefield if you’re proven to be violating the law. So, below are the things you need to know legally when considering the placement of residential security systems around a property:
The Need For Security Systems Around The Property
If you’re concerned about the protection of a home or business place, having security systems can be a necessity. An example of this is the CCTV system. It is helpful to safeguard you, a client and even your business from criminal acts and other anti-social behaviors. However, these security measures may be unreasonable to some because of the presumption that these cameras are utilized to spy on neighbors or those simply passing by the property. In cases like these, it is best if you consider some questions regarding your need of a security system, the places you are going to use it and other alternative ways to protect the property from criminals.
Legal Considerations To Know When Setting Up Security Systems
When you have already determined the necessity of having security systems around your property, maybe it’s about time to consider it from a legal perspective. Installing a security system can be associated with some legal issues. So, let’s check the things you have to know about these security schemes:
Putting Up A Security System Can Invade Privacy
Security systems such as CCTV cameras can actually be considered to be illegal, especially when these are used to invade one’s privacy. As provided by law, you are not supposed to monitor someone without his or her express consent – and by doing so, you’re violating another’s right to a reasonable expectation of privacy. This applies to bedrooms, changing rooms, hotel rooms, bathrooms and other relevant locations. You cannot just set up a video surveillance camera without considering another’s privacy rights. It is in the law, and you’re expected to follow it. Not just that! The legal restrictions on setting up security systems around a residential property can also extend to a commercial establishment. Although businesses are more public in nature, you cannot just install CCTV cameras for no good and justifiable reason and without properly considering the privacy of customers and workers. Further, recording of videos or audio in public areas is also perceived as illegal. That is because it is considered as a violation of the wiretap law. Nobody is permitted to record any conversation or activities without the permission of the parties involved. At this point, it still best to say that one’s privacy enjoys supremacy over your freedom to safeguard your possessions.
Informing People About Your CCTV System Is Essential
When you’re about to put up your security systems, it is always good if you are transparent with the people around you. Take time to inform them about these security measures and consider their concerns and suggestions. A good example of this are the owners of neighboring properties. Let them understand the need of having CCTV cameras around the property and the protection it can offer both parties in the long run. Another option is to make a notice informing people that video recording is taking place.
Being Responsible For The CCTV Security System Is Crucial
When you’re finished with the installation of the security system, the next step is to check the following:
- Ensure that the system is set up properly.
- Study how it works when it comes to recording.
- Make sure that you’re responsible for all the recordings of the CCTV cameras.
- Be sure to take care of all the information recorded and ensure that this information is not used for purposes other than for the security of the property.
- Examine the system regularly to see if it’s working, and observe any unusual activities that are happening around it.
- Check the positions of your cameras – and if it’s pointing in the neighbor’s vicinity, take proper steps to reposition it to avoid complaints regarding privacy invasion afterwards.
The Recordings Of The CCTV Cameras Can Be Used As Evidence
Many people consider the primary uses of security systems to be for protection, but they are also a useful asset in the collection of evidence? The CCTV cameras, for instance, can be utilized as evidence when they capture information which is helpful in a police investigation.
Consult The Local Authorities Or An Attorney First
When you are considering installing security systems around your property, you may be unintentionally violating the surveillance laws in your area. If that happens, you’ll be possibly facing complaints and other legal matters along the way. So, if you want to ensure the authorized and safe applications of your security systems, do the right thing. You can go and consult the local authorities in your city about questions involving the legality of your security measure. If they are not available, you can also seek advice from your legal counsel regarding the protocols and probable consequences of the security systems and any potential violations. Doing so will protect you and your family, not only physically and emotionally, but legally as well.
If you’re thinking about the protection of a venue, above are the things you have to know legally when placing up security systems. In situations like these, it is good to know your rights and the legal rights of others. The bottom line is, ensure your principal and their property is protected, but do so without putting them, or yourself at risk of prosecution.
By: Michael Lawson
Michael Lawson is a US attorney, specializing in bankruptcy. He currently writes for BLC Law Center, for more information go to: blclawcenter.com.