CanI record audio with a ring doorbell on a shared front porch?

I have installed a ring doorbell that records video/audio on a shared front porch for security reasons only. My neighbor, who is extremely volatile and combative, is threatening legal action because she feels it’s an intrusion of her privacy. I live in a 2 party consent state but it’s not a private area. It’s a shared area with neighbors’ yards/porches literally a few feet apart from ours on a cul-de-sac. Therefore, her expectation of privacy is absolutely not there. It is in full public view so anyone in nearby homes can hear anything from my porch; we’re that close. Does the lack of an expectation of privacy exempt me from having legal issues?

Asked on June 5, 2018 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

PA is what is know as an "all party consent state". This means that all parties to a conversation must agree to its being recorded. That having been said, if the conversation takes place in an area where it could reasonably be over heard (e.g. in a public place such as a restaurant, lobby of an office building, etc.), there is no expectation of privacy. Accordingly, permission for a recording is not legally required. The dilema here is if your front porch constitutes a public place. At this point, you may want to consult directly with a local attoreny who can best advise after going over all of the details of your situation.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Expectation of privacy is irrelevan to audio recordingd: in a two-party (which really should be called "all party")  consent state, you need people to consent to be audio recorded. You may not audio record her or anyone without their consent; doing so is a crime. You may record video in a shared or common area, but you have to disable the audio.

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