Are Your Security Cameras Legal in Colorado
Are Your Security Cameras Legal in Colorado?
Are you thinking of installing home security cameras but worried about violating someone else’s privacy or the law? It’s wise to make sure, ahead of time, that you are abiding by all relevant legislation before you install your cameras. After all, you don’t want to find out later, when someone is pressing charges against you, that you accidentally broke a law you didn’t know about.
Fortunately, Colorado video recording laws are fairly lax. You should be able to install the cameras you want without breaking them. There are only a few instances where you might run into problems. As always when you have legal questions, though, the best way to protect yourself is to speak with a lawyer before you take any action.
Cameras on the exterior of your home are legal, as long as they point toward your own property. No one has a legal entitlement to complete privacy if they are out in front of a home, on the street, knocking on someone’s door, etc. These cameras may pick up all or part of your neighbor’s yard, but they should be aimed most directly at your own.
If you are aiming your outdoor cameras toward the interior of your neighbor’s home, you could run into trouble in Colorado. The law tends to treat the insides of private residences as places where people can reasonably expect privacy from their neighbors. As long as someone is in their home (and not in public), and you do not have their consent, you cannot videotape them.
When it comes to the back yard, you can aim your cameras at your property here, too. If they also capture part of the neighbor’s yard that is easily viewable over a fence or something, that is acceptable. If your neighbor has privacy measures, like high fences or dense trees, in place, you should not use your cameras to penetrate these.
Cameras in your home are generally legal, as long as they do not record a person’s private parts without that person’s consent in situations where that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. This means that you probably shouldn’t put cameras in your bathrooms and, if you send someone into a room to change, you should turn off any cameras that are inside.
People who come onto your property without permission don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so you can train cameras on bedrooms, etc., as long as any guests know they’re there and you turn them off when it’s appropriate.
Notifying the Police
Some cities, like Castle Rock and Brighton, are asking homeowners to register their outdoor cameras with the police. The idea behind this request is that police will more easily be able to catch suspects because they will know who in the area may have caught them on camera. Some people resist this, though, because they feel like it could have more sinister uses.
If you’re interested in setting up surveillance cameras on your property, call us today!