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Are you considering installing home security cameras? Before you go ahead with it, consider these three questions:

  1. Where do you want to place it?

  2. How well hidden does it need to be (or can it be?)

  3. Are you familiar with all the laws surrounding videotaping people?

You can install security cameras in your own residence, of course, but you are legally prohibited from setting cameras up in bathrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms. What do these all have in common? People are getting undressed or are partially/completely nude. It’s illegal to film in any area where nudity is a possibility. You can film at entrances and exits, but it must be impossible to film inside the area.

You also cannot install cameras in other people’s residences, unless you are setting up the security system for their use. It’s definitely best to have them there with you, so that way it’s clear to anyone official that you’re helping them, and not spying on them. Speaking of other people, you are legally allowed to have your cameras pointed at your neighbor’s house — it’s considered public viewing, but you must account for your neighbors first. If it’s part of an overall surveillance system — ie, you have cameras pointed at the driveway, at the front door, and at the side facing the neighbors, that’s a good way to explain it. However, make sure to communicate with your neighbors, and if they’re uncomfortable/it’s possible, move your cameras.

Security is important, and cameras are an important feature of home security, but it’s also important to have a good relationship with your neighbors and your overall neighborhood. You don’t need to tell the entire neighborhood that you’re installing a security system, but it wouldn’t hurt to tell your next door neighbors.

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