Audio eavesdropping law?

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-08-17, 08:15 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 118
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
Audio eavesdropping law?

I have a customer that is interested in having a camera system installed with audio recording capability. This is a business owner and i've never been asked to do this so I was curious about the legalities. This is a business that would have customers, by the way(not just an office environment). Also this is located in Alabama, if that helps. What i think i've found is that he would need to post a sign on the door notifying the customer of the recording but I was more curious as to the legalities and liability on my end as the installer.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-08-17, 11:35 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,179
Received 1,118 Votes on 1,038 Posts
Yes.... the owner should post that the room is being audio and video recorded. That's his responsibility.
That doesn't fall to you and you have no liability as the installer.

Cameras cannot be installed in areas where people expect privacy. That would be changing rooms and restrooms. (I personally won't install cameras in a bedroom either.)
 
  #3  
Old 09-08-17, 04:16 PM
D
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 516
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
PJ is correct. Post a sign that alerts the customers that the place is monitored. No cameras in bathrooms or fitting rooms. Audio laws come into play during telephone conversations. There are 2 party & 1 party states. That determines if you have to warn the person on the other end of the phone if the call is being recorded.
 
  #4  
Old 09-09-17, 03:43 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,029
Received 232 Votes on 207 Posts
PJ and Donato are probably correct. But if I were you as a license installer would want "proof" or in writing what your responsibilities are. Do you belong to an association or is there a state regulatory dept that you contact. In today's society I would be very cautious. With audio and video it sounds like an invitation fr a law suit just waiting to happen.
 
  #5  
Old 09-09-17, 04:16 AM
H
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,763
Received 95 Votes on 84 Posts
Originally Posted by PJmax
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/avatars/194.gif
and you have no liability as the installer.
Eh, not quite. You have no liability; once the judge dismisses the case, or dismisses you from the case....

The person suing can sue the owner, and then use that to figure out the installer, the camera manufacturer etc.
 
  #6  
Old 09-09-17, 06:46 AM
D
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 516
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
In America, anyone can sue anyone but that doesn't mean that the case will be accepted by the courts. I doubt that such a case would go very far if there were a sign posted.
 
  #7  
Old 09-09-17, 12:15 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,179
Received 1,118 Votes on 1,038 Posts
I've been reading numerous law publications in regards to this issue. The addition of audio is covered under eavesdropping laws but no mention is made of the installer. It is definitely a gray area and it appears that you as an installer could be named in a court case.

I was reading some California law where everyone right back to the equipment manufacturer could be named although this pertained more towards hidden surveillance.

Now I see there is dedicated insurance for surveillance system installers and that some insurance companies are not covering these issues without a rider. Where will it end.
 
  #8  
Old 09-09-17, 01:10 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,546
Received 119 Votes on 94 Posts
It's a sue happy, sue crazy society! Everyone looking for a free buck.
 
  #9  
Old 09-09-17, 01:56 PM
S
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 458
Received 26 Votes on 18 Posts
And even if you do get a lawyer's opinion, it's just that -- an opinion (albeit an educated one) -- until somebody actually sues and it goes to court and a decision is made. Only then is there case law to back up the opinion. And even THEN you can still get sued and have to go to court just to file a motion to be dropped from the case, citing the precedent. It's actually nauseating to think about.
 
  #10  
Old 09-09-17, 03:08 PM
H
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,763
Received 95 Votes on 84 Posts
Originally Posted by PJmax
Where will it end.
Well, usual endpoint is set by "minimum contacts". Case is "Zurcher v. Cheng Shin v. Asahi Metal Industry Co." California motorcycle crash, rider sues the Taiwanese tire company, who sues the Japanese value stem company...
 
  #11  
Old 09-09-17, 04:20 PM
D
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 516
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Such a law suit is a civil suit. To win a civil suit, the plaintiff must show damages & translate those damages into dollars. Let's say that you recorded a conversation & overheard a possible business deal. With that info, the owner not the installer approached one of the parties & stole the deal. That would show damages & the dollar value of the lost deal. I can't see anything short of that being a winnable case.


To Shadeladie's sue happy point, George Harrison was sued for his song, My Sweet Lord. It was too close to He's So Fine by The Chiffons. Harrison wrote another song called Sue Me, Sue You Blues.
 
  #12  
Old 09-10-17, 05:34 AM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 35 Votes on 27 Posts
...until somebody actually sues and it goes to court and a decision is made. Only then is there case law to back up the opinion.

Sorry, but you are mistaken about the term "case law". The decision by a trial court is just that, a decision. That decision only applies within the jurisdiction of the trial court. Case law is made when a decision is appealed and the appellate court rules on the LAW applied by the trial court. Trial courts deal in findings of facts to the original case whereas appellate courts deal with findings of law concerning the original trial. It is extremely rare that an appellate court rules on the facts of the original trial, instead they will "remand" the case back to the original court if they find errors of law had been allowed by the original court.

This is a very common misconception about our system of courts and jurisprudence.
 
  #13  
Old 09-10-17, 10:41 AM
S
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 458
Received 26 Votes on 18 Posts
Actually, I'm quite familiar with the definition of case law. I just didn't want to go overboard on the detail as it pertains (or doesn't pertain) to this circumstance. I didn't figure most folks would be curious about the distinctions between district and circuit courts, state appellate and supreme courts, federal judicial circuits, etc. And since I'm not familiar with the judicial system in the state in question, Alabama, I didn't want to apply my local judicial procedures to a state which I know nothing about. Instead, I spoke in broad sweeping generalizations. My apologies if this caused irreparable harm and confusion in the thread.

Suffice it to say, for legal guidance, one is best served by contacting an attorney admitted to the bar in the state in which the legal question arises.
 
  #14  
Old 09-10-17, 09:05 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 35 Votes on 27 Posts
Suffice it to say, for legal guidance, one is best served by contacting an attorney admitted to the bar in the state in which the legal question arises.

I completely agree! pk[peodjgb[kehbrl]wt
 
  #15  
Old 09-11-17, 06:30 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 118
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
Thanks for all the info, guys! I am going to try to steer him away from the audio recording option but if I end up doing this install with audio recording i will have him sign an agreement that I assume no liability.
 
  #16  
Old 09-11-17, 07:14 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Actually TV news reporters have the best information on these laws... Because they are video and audio recording people everywhere! The following covers differing laws in each state...
(Generally signs posted saying audio recording.)

https://www.rcfp.org/rcfp/orders/docs/RECORDING.pdf

BUT... Actually audio recording someone and being able to understand what is being said is a quite different matter. Turn on the voice recorder on your cell phone and try recording someone across the room, then 10 feet away, then 5 feet away. You probably will not be able to understand what is being said even 5 feet away.

The best use of audio along with video is when armed guards are present in a building 24/7. The sound of smashing glass or people fighting will "wake up" the guard watching the video monitors and get him to look and see what is going on.

If you need to be able to record and understand what is being said, you will need a lot of noise canceling microphones.
 
  #17  
Old 09-11-17, 12:12 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 39
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
@pearljammer You might need some language that puts the onus on him to disclose the system's existence to future owners, else you could still be on the hook.
 
  #18  
Old 09-11-17, 05:12 PM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 9,029
Received 232 Votes on 207 Posts
It would be interesting to know why he wants audio. As Bill190 says , the audio will be very poor if not right next to the mic. Unless it's in an office (and might be a privacy issue) little will be gained.
 
  #19  
Old 09-13-17, 01:14 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 118
Received 6 Votes on 6 Posts
I found it strange as well. He may be suspicious of some of his employees, but I still think it's weird.
 
  #20  
Old 09-14-17, 02:34 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 460
Received 14 Votes on 13 Posts
I used equipment from Louroe Electronics, but I don't know if it is available to the DIY market.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: