We live in a world where video and surveillance recordings are everywhere. In fact, you probably have one in your house or business as you read this – from ADT, SimpliSafe, Amazon, or another company.
We have accepted surveillance technology into our lives for our own safety and comfort, but is there reason to believe that surveillance can be legally used against us?
The modern world allows for surveillance recordings and information sharing that offers security and safety in our own spaces. However, there are fears that law enforcement can acquire your video recordings without consent to use as evidence in a case – potentially against you as the owner. Is this legal? And is there anything you, as a private citizen, can do about it?
How Easy Is It?
The good news is that law enforcement can’t just log on and take the videos that are stored in the cloud without your consent. There are legal protocols required in order to gain the data stored within these systems, most commonly through search warrants or subpoenas. If a police officer or government entity wants that data, they will have to go through traditional legal channels in order to gain access to it without your explicit consent.
On the other hand, it is becoming easier for them to get through these legal processes because of the wealth of information out there. The more recordings available, the more opportunities the police have to acquire this information. Additionally, there are circumstances where, if the information is not encrypted properly, law enforcement professionals can access the data without your consent. It is not, in that case, strictly legal, but it is hard to prosecute or throw out because it is not properly encrypted and therefore not entirely secure.
Know Your Rights
Your data and recordings of you and your family are your property. A law enforcement officer does not have legal access to them without a search warrant or your consent. Therefore, if there is ever a situation where an officer of the law uses your recording or tells you that they have recorded information from your cameras without your consent, you should contact an attorney. This information must be obtained with the use of a search warrant or subpoena.
For a third party individual, you are also endangered if you are on or near someone’s property and captured on camera, and you have rights as well. Because you are not in control of that data, you don’t know whether or not it has been legally accessed, so it is advisable to contact an attorney any time a law enforcement professional says there are residential, private recordings of your activity. The legality of these actions are dubious on behalf of the police, and so it is vital to protect your own rights in the event that evidence is illegally used against you.
Trusted Security with TC Tech Systems
TC Tech Systems is a company in Texas built around establishing trust with its clients. We specialize in security system installations and know client rights and the laws surrounding privacy, so we can help you navigate the complex legal ground on which you stand.