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Is Video-Surveillance Security Legal in Your Building?

Home security systems are one of today’s most sought-after investments. They are designed to protect people and property by acting as a deterrent to thieves and criminals. If a crime does occur, footage from a video-surveillance camera is often used for evidence. Strategically placed cameras go a long way towards protecting home owners and their property, but are you allowed to use them where you are? Below answers a few legal questions that can crop up when installing a security system for the first time.

Times Are Changing

Technological advances have fundamentally changed the way people secure their homes and buildings. Video surveillance has been around for a long time. Closed circuit television systems were used during WWII, and later used for commercial applications. The evolution of technology has taken it from its humble beginnings to where it is today. With each change, legal ramifications must also be considered.

Legal Ramifications

Most laws lean towards the owner’s right to protect their home as long as it only records the actions of those on the property. This includes cameras that are mounted inside and outside the building, with a few exceptions. Private spaces inside the home including bathrooms and bedrooms should not have cameras installed. Exterior mounted cameras need to be pointed in such a way as not to film people who are off the property.


Problems in security usually involve the infringement of other people’s right to privacy. Nearby areas such as roadways and sidewalks are often considered legally appropriate. If the cameras are capturing footage through a neighbor’s window, legal actions can be taken. Backyards of nearby homes are also considered to be off limits.

The Law

Laws can vary from state to state, but the bottom line is, people are legally allowed their personal privacy. Private spaces of others need to be respected. Mount the cameras in areas that only film legal spaces such as:

Front doors

Back doors



Living Rooms

The placement of the security camera is an important part of the installation process.

Home Alarm System

A home alarm system provides families with the security they need. This protection can be obtained by using a system that includes video-surveillance. Today’s alarm systems are designed to provide safety and protection to home residents. There are a wide array of products to choose from that are designed to get the job done right.

Internet protocol video cameras, or netcams, are the norm for most customers. They can be viewed remotely through any internet connected device. The modern high definition cameras provide excellent video coverage and can be operated through a smart phone. The convenience has taken surveillance to a whole new level.

Author Information: Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check her out on Twitter at @eileenoshanassy.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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