Can you legally put a hidden spy camera outside in the woods to catch trespassers even if the camera has an audio feature?

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Can you legally put a hidden spy camera outside in the woods to catch trespassers even if the camera has an audio feature?

We have had problems with trespassers damaging property. Is it legal to put a hidden audio/video camera up to catch the trespassers? I see lots of hidden spy cameras that have both audio and video, and I thought it may be illegal to capture video and audio if the people didn’t have any knowledge of the camera. I do not want to videotape someone if it happens to be illegal.

Asked on August 8, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have the right to place hidden audio devices and cameras on your property to capture trespassers on your property. There is nothing illegal about this. It is your land and as long as you do not place a device on your land that could hurt someone you can do what you need to find out who is illegally on your land.

A trespasser has no justifiable expectation of privacy that his or her image will not be captured on film. Examples of allowable video camera use are by banks, apartment complexes, and grocery stroes. If they can use video cameras, why can't you?

You should also consider posting "no trespassing signs" in the area where the video camera is pointing to capture the trespasser and the sign at the same time.

Good luck.

 


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