If you’re considering installing home security cameras, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. While we covered what to keep in mind when it comes to filming, what about audio recordings that you take from filming? Again, the questions to keep in mind — where do you want to place it, and are you familiar with the laws surrounding audio recordings?
While you can film just about anywhere, the laws about audio recordings are trickier, and vary from state to state. However, federal law states that one person needs to be aware of the recording — and it can’t be you. The conversation you’re recording needs to have at least one person aware that it’s happening. This means that it’s illegal to record a conversation where nobody knows it’s happening. If you are part of the conversation, then yes, it’s okay to record the conversation — but it may not make the people you’re talking to very happy!
In Texas, the rule is “one-party consent,” which is the same as federal law. Some states have “dual consent,” which means that all parties in the conversation need to approve/understand that it’s being recorded. For example, if you’ve ever been on a customer service call, you may hear that your conversation is being recorded for training purposes. That’s the company making you aware that you’re being recorded — but if you don’t approve, you may as well hang up.
When it comes to using audio recordings, it’s best not to, as the law can be very tricky about usage. That isn’t to say you can’t store them, but as long as you don’t try to threaten or blackmail someone using the recordings, you’re good. Due to legality, most security cameras don’t have audio recording enabled.