Can my neighbor point a security camera at my house? Or even worse, can my neighbor record me on my property? No one likes to feel as though they’re being watched by other people. Not only is this going to be unnerving but you might feel as if your rights are being violated.
This is why things can get so problematic when your neighbor starts making use of security cameras. If your neighbor has a security camera pointed at your property, then you might be curious about whether that is even legal.
Shouldn’t it be against the law for someone to record you on your own property? Is there anything that you can do about this to protect yourself and your privacy? Well, the answers to these questions really depend on various factors and you have to get more details to figure things out. Read on to explore the topic of security cameras and your rights further.
Can My Neighbor Point A Security Camera At My House?
It’s very possible that your neighbors could be doing things perfectly legally with the security cameras that they have installed. Even if the cameras are pointed toward your property, it’s possible that they are doing things within the confines of the law. This depends on factors such as why they’re using security cameras, what type of footage they’re capturing with the cameras, and what they’re doing with the footage that they’re collecting.
If you’re perturbed by the security cameras being pointed toward your property, then this might not be what you want to hear. However, it’s important to understand that your neighbor has rights as well. It’s normal for people to want to protect their property and sometimes protection methods involve surveillance. Keep reading to learn more about when it is legal to use security cameras and you’ll be able to see about when it might not be legal later on.
The Security Cameras Are Capturing a Broad Area
If these security cameras are capturing a broad area and they don’t seem to be specifically focusing on your house, then your neighbor is not doing anything illegal or wrong. There is a good chance that your property is just part of the broad area that is being picked up by the security camera. Video surveillance is perfectly legal and there isn’t going to be anything that you can do about this in this instance. You’ll just have to deal with it so long as nothing particularly invasive is happening in regards to your privacy.
Most people who use security cameras are going to be capturing wide areas to keep things monitored. The idea is to have plenty of coverage so that you can catch someone doing criminal acts or get information about vehicles that might be trying to rob properties in the neighborhood. The camera might not be doing anything out of the ordinary even if it does make you feel uneasy. It’s normal to feel odd knowing that a camera is there but it really could mean no harm and the intention might not be to invade your privacy in any way.
How the Footage Is Being Used
How the footage is being used also plays a role in whether everything is aboveboard. If your neighbor is simply using this footage that overlooks your property for normal security purposes, then everything is legal. For example, many people who focus on security cameras use them to try to catch thieves to steal packages from people’s doorsteps. It’s possible that this footage could even help you out if your neighbor catches someone trying to steal from your property due to having the security camera slightly pointed in your direction.
People can’t use the security camera footage for other purposes such as entertainment or anything weird. It’s also worth noting that people are within their rights to record video in public spaces in many states but audio is going to be a different story. Many states have made it illegal to record audio without consent so that could be an issue depending on if the camera is set to pick up audio. Many cameras aren’t going to be able to pick up audio from your property if they’re set up at your neighbor’s property as they should be.
Your Neighbor Can’t Point Security Cameras in Certain Spots
There are situations where your neighbors could be invading your privacy illegally. For instance, if your neighbors have a camera pointed somewhere that you should be expected to have privacy, then this is not legal. Your neighbors shouldn’t have cameras pointed at your home that are trying to peer inside your home. Likewise, they shouldn’t have cameras fixed on your bathroom, bedroom, or other areas that should be private.
Basically, if your neighbor is trying to peep on you with the cameras, then this is not acceptable. It’s illegal to do things such as this and it is not what security cameras are made to do. If you have reason to believe that one or more of your neighbor’s security cameras is invading your privacy in some way, then you might need to do something about it. You’ll be able to get some advice about this later on in this article.
Wrongful Use of Security Footage Is Illegal
Of course, wrongful use of security footage is illegal. As mentioned above, your neighbors can’t peep on your house legally and this could get them in trouble if they’re caught. There are many ways that security cameras could be used to do illegal things. Someone could point a camera at your child’s window or they could try to peep on people using your swimming pool or view people who are changing in your home.
Spying on others is against the law and this would be a severe invasion of your privacy if it was occurring. You’ll also be glad to know that it’s against the law to share footage such as this on social media or through other means. If you suspect that this is occurring, then you might need to get law enforcement involved. They can help you to file a harassment claim and you can figure out what to do from there.
Speak to Your Neighbors
Speaking to your neighbors about things is prudent so long as you don’t expect that they’re doing bad things with the footage from the security camera. If you don’t believe that they’re intentionally trying to view your property, then you can still talk things out if it makes you uncomfortable. The best course of action is to be polite and try to tell your neighbors why the cameras make you feel uneasy. They might be accommodating and could try to come up with a better position for the camera that won’t have them capturing footage from your home.
You might be surprised to find out that your neighbors will be very reasonable about this and will be more than happy to assuage your concerns. Before you take drastic measures, it’s good to have a little talk with your neighbor. As long as you’re both civil individuals, this should be a productive exchange. If your neighbor doesn’t seem to care about your concerns, then you can try to get the police involved from there and see what can be done if indeed your neighbor isn’t following all of the right rules.
Now that you know more about the legality of this situation, it should be easier to take action. You might have nothing to worry about besides feeling a bit uncomfortable about the cameras. Don’t hesitate to talk to your neighbors if you think that it could help. Otherwise, you could just try to learn to live with the presence of the cameras if they aren’t really invading your privacy.