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Your notion of installing a surveillance system could be anything from keeping an around the clock watch on your business or abode to safeguarding your premises or assets.
However, there is one thing that you might not be aware of while monitoring your home or workplace with a CCTV system. Want to guess? The thing is that one has to follow certain laws and rules if they want to position these systems at their premises. For a person who doesn’t know about these rules and regulations, it is all a fun game until they get an official notice regarding the violation of such law or protocol.
Thus, here we are putting down the top most ignored CCTV codes and laws to help you avoid getting that call from the court.
- If you have hired Union members, it’s probably a good idea to tell them about ‘hidden cams’!
There are no firm laws set up either by the federal or the state government regarding the use of security cameras in the workplace. So, if the business owner decides to introduce some surveillance units at his (or her) office, it is well within their legal rights to do so.
Yet, there are some guidelines put down by the National Labor Relations Board according to which medium to large sized businesses employing union workers need to inform their staff about the hidden cams beforehand.
- The security footage is meant only for law enforcement purposes and not third parties!
Probably this law in particular is violated the most. The security footage is widely shared over different platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, etc. mostly for humor and entertainment purposes, which really is not in lines with the system of laws. The videos captured by CCTVs are entitled to be used only by the tribunals.
- Even the Police have limited rights!
This one might come as a shock, but it is actually true. According to The Fourth Amendment, police needs a warrant to install cameras that have audio capabilities. Moreover, an audio booth is not the appropriate place to install audio surveillance equipment, whereas a suspect’s room should certainly be considered for positioning audio enabled CCTVs.
- Follow the strict state laws when it comes to prohibited areas!
13 states in the US viz. Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah and South Dakota strictly prohibits installing surveillance equipment in and around private areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms, hotel rooms, or fitting rooms, etc. The idea behind such regulation is that people at such places expect privacy and they should not be monitored without prior consent or permission.
- Eavesdropping could get you a court calling also!
Any particular situation in which you are not part of a conversation, it is always illegal to eavesdrop or audio monitor that particular conversation. It should always be notified to both the parties of the conversation that they are being recorded. This rule is followed strictly in the following states: California, Delaware, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Montana, Pennsylvania, Washington and Utah.
- Some states reinforce the use of security cameras too!
States such as New York require the use of surveillance cameras to monitor the crowd at places like public dance halls and cabarets. This security footage serves as a valuable context for the law enforcing departments for investigating certain cases.
So, while installing your first line of defense, keep these surveillance codes and laws in mind. Abiding by these rules will help you to use your security camera footage as evidence and would save you from getting into any legal prosecution as well.
Rohan Sharma is a gadget wizard, an active blogger and an eminent speaker. With more than 10 years of experience to his credit, Rohan has always been a pertinent contributor to the security industry. He is associated with Revo America, a well renowned security products manufacturer and retailer.