Surveillance equipment can be very useful in both residential and commercial applications. Whether you want to use video or audio recording to protect your home or business, most states have laws in place that outline regulations for use the use of electronic recording devices.
The regulations differ for every state and for whether audio or video surveillance is used. You need to be sure you’re in compliance with these laws when using recording equipment. Here we review Maryland surveillance video and audio recording laws.
Audio Recording Laws in Maryland
In the United States, there are twelve states where audio recording cannot be done without the consent of every person in the conversation. Maryland is one of those states.
Most types of audio recordings are illegal unless all parties know the recording is taking place. Under Maryland law, in both residential households and in a place of business, people must be clearly told that audio recording is happening.
In some situations, such as a phone call, implied consent is enough. You’ve likely heard “this call may be recorded for quality and assurance purposes” while on a call. If the person hears this and proceeds with the conversation, this is legal even though the person hasn’t given explicit permission.
If you do record employees or people at your home under any other circumstances in which all parties are not aware of the recording, this is a felony in the state of Maryland which could mean imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both .
What About Video Surveillance?
Video surveillance is a bit different than audio surveillance under Maryland law. It is legal in Maryland to use surveillance video in your home, including on your porch or lawn, without consent from the parties being recorded .
However, it is illegal to use hidden surveillance cameras in places where people expect privacy—these places include bathrooms or dressing rooms. Deliberately using video to record people in their respective private residences or in a private place without their consent is considered unlawful in the state of Maryland.
While federal law doesn’t regulate the use of video surveillance cameras in your home or business, state laws do apply and will vary by state, so be sure you’re in compliance with these regulations to avoid potential legal issues.
Using Audio and Video Surveillance Properly
Both audio and video surveillance can be beneficial for homes and businesses that want more security. However, complying with Maryland law is important. Exercise caution when using audio recording and be sure to notify all parties involved, but know that video recording is usually legal without such permission.
Do you have surveillance equipment in place at your house or office? Are you in compliance with Maryland’s laws for audio and video recording? Contact us at Surveillance Secure to learn more about how we can help you conduct legal surveillance to keep your place of work or your home safe!
Updates for 2021
In 2021, Maryland remains one of the states in which all parties must consent to an audio recording for it to take place. It still remains legal to conduct video surveillance on your property, so long as they are places where people do not expect privacy.