Before installing surveillance cameras in their homes and businesses, Delaware citizens and employers may have questions about the state’s privacy laws. Can filming someone without their knowledge constitute a violation of the law? Maryland Security Professionals explains a little bit of Delaware law as it pertains to covert cameras in the home, the workplace, and public spaces.
Hidden Cameras in the Home
Installing a hidden camera in the home is legal in all 50 states, including Delaware. However, in Delaware and 12 other states, it is illegal to install a camera in private places without the consent of the person being observed. This applies even if it’s in your own home.
Under Delaware law, a private place is defined as any area where a person expects privacy or safety from unauthorized surveillance. If you were to install a nanny cam, for example, it would be a violation of privacy to install a camera in the bathroom or in the nanny’s bedroom without her permission.
Are Hidden Cameras Legal in the Workplace in Delaware?
Employers and managers in Delaware may legally install hidden cameras to film customer and employee activity. Camera installation here is similar to installing a camera in a residential home. Employers may install hidden cameras in public facilities, but not in places where there is an expectation of privacy. Private places may include the bathroom, locker room, or a fitting room.
Areas where surveillance is generally permitted includes places where people may congregate in large numbers, such as lobbies, front entrances, and warehouse work zones. These areas all constitute locations where businesses have a valid reason for surveillance (e.g. protecting property, ensuring employee productivity, etc.).
Even in places where surveillance is legal, it is recommended that users post visible signs notifying employees and customers that their activities are under being monitored and recorded. Business owners are well-advised to reveal such measures to employees.
State-of-the-art Surveillance Cameras in Delaware
When used within the law, surveillance equipment can be an invaluable asset in protecting your property, protecting your family and employees, and identifying illegal activity. Contact Maryland Security Professionals to learn about our Delaware security services, including the latest state-of-the-art monitoring devices.
More information of the legalities of hidden cameras in Delaware:
- Digital Media Law Project, Recording Phone Calls and Conversation, http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-phone-calls-and-conversations
- Reporters Committee, Introduction: Recording – State Hidden Camera Statutes, https://www.rcfp.org/first-amendment-handbook/introduction-recording-state-hidden-camera-statutes