Audio Video Laws

Have you noticed our disclaimer at the bottom of some of our product pages? "Due to federal regulations, this camera does not record audio." You’re probably wondering why don’t our cameras come with audio? 
Please take some time to learn about audio / video laws within the US and as to why we do not provide audio with our cameras per federal law US Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 119. 



Deluxe CCTV Inc. does not condone the illicit use of cameras or any of the devices we sell. By removing audio recording capabilities from our hidden cameras we’re simply adhering to U.S. law while providing the tools you need to ensure that your child, elder or business is safe without compromising the rights of those being recorded. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ascertain and comply with all applicable Local, State, and Federal laws in regard to the possession and use of any items purchased from Deluxe CCTV Inc. Deluxe CCTV Inc. is not responsible for the misuse of any product we sell.



The federal law that applies to audio recording is US Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 119, which you can read in full here: This law is a federal prohibition on the use of devices designed to covertly record the voices of people without their consent in certain states. Crucial differences that come down to matters of privacy and consent.



Audio Recording Consent Regulations By State


It’s always best to consult your own state's laws and regulations when it comes to audio recording rules because every state varies. If you have additional questions, contact an attorney in your area. For more laws on audio recording, please visit this site:

Two Party Consent States:

These states require two party consent in order to record video/audio or just audio. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington. Without the consent of the second party, it is illegal to capture video/audio, or just audio without their knowledge.



Audio Recording: A Matter of Consent


Unlike video recording, the laws that govern audio recording deal with one-party versus two-party consent, and they vary from state to state.


“Zero party consent” Zero party consent is when none of the parties being recorded are aware of the recording, and this is prohibited by federal statute as explained above.

As its name implies, one-party consent means that there is one person present who consents to the recording of audio. Two-party consent means that both parties being recorded are aware of, and agree to, said recording. The majority of states are one-party consent (refer to the list above for state-by-state consent laws).


"One Party Consent" An example of one-party consent would be the use of a body worn cameras like a wristwatch or pen camera. By wearing the device, you become a party to the recording and thus grant one-party consent. Because you're there for the recording, it isn't necessary that the other party consent to being recorded.


"Two Party Consent" In a two-party consent state you would need to get the other person's permission to record that audio or face the legal repercussions. Let's say you're in a one-party consent state and you leave your pen camera behind to record audio when you're not there, unless you've gotten the other party's consent to that recording, you have no legal right to record that audio.


Expectation of Privacy in the Home


Probably the clearest example of a place where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy is in the home. A person doesn't have to be a homeowner for the law to protect that expectation; tenants who rent their homes also have a protected right to privacy. Moreover, invasion of privacy doesn't just mean that someone physically enters a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. It can also happen if someone uses electronic equipment to monitor or record what someone is doing in the home.

For example, suppose a married couple rent an apartment from a landlord in a multi-unit building. After a while, they discover that the landlord had installed a device in the bedroom that could transmit and record any sounds in that room. The landlord would be liable to the couple for invading their privacy, and he would likely be required to compensate the couple for their mental suffering and emotional distress. This would be true even if the landlord had not actually listened to the couple or recorded them.


Expectation of Privacy in Public

Although someone may not have a right to seclusion when in the public view, the law can still protect people from being portrayed in a way that could be considered humiliating or from having their private details exposed. For example: By entering a commercial retail store you are leaving an outdoor public area, but you're then subject to the store's publicly owned space. In the same way you wouldn't expect privacy walking down the street, you wouldn't expect it walking down the aisles of a department store. The moment you enter a changing room or a restroom, however, you are afforded a reasonable expectation of privacy. 

Disclaimer: The information provided is not legal advise. We are not attorneys and you should consult with your local law enforcement or attorney for any additonal questions. 

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