Security Camera Laws in Colorado: Frequently Asked Questions

Colorado is the sixth fastest-growing state in the nation, and for good reasons. Colorful Colorado’s friendly people, year-round outdoor activities, and beautiful scenery are just some of the things that make it a great state.

With so much growth and rapid development, security issues are bound to follow. As a result, towns like Denver have seen an upsurge in property crime since 2020. According to Denver police data, burglaries increased by 23 percent in 2020, robberies increased by 9%, auto theft increased by 61 percent, and stealing from cars increased by 39 percent over the preceding four years. So it’s no wonder that security cameras are in high demand.

Security cameras and video surveillance are subject to specific requirements in Colorado. That’s why, before installing or upgrading your security system in Colorado, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the state’s video surveillance rules and regulations. This post will answer some frequently asked questions about Colorado’s security camera laws.

Security Camera Laws in Colorado FAQs:

Colorado security camera building city

What is considered illegal surveillance in Colorado?

In Colorado, privacy rules make it illegal to record someone without their permission in cases where the subject has a reasonable expectation of privacy. While it is generally allowed to perform video surveillance on public or private property in Colorado, you cannot conduct it in locations where people anticipate privacy. This is true whether the surveillance is conducted in your house or at your place of business.

Video recording law 2021

Colorado did not pass any significant video surveillance laws in 2021. However, most of the laws related to video surveillance in Colorado are covered under CO Rev Stat § 18-7-801 (2016), which highlights the offenses relating to morals and criminal invasion of privacy if: 

  • A person knowingly observes or takes a photograph of another person’s intimate parts, without that person’s consent in a situation where the person being observed or photographed has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Colorado is a one-party consent state when it comes to video surveillance and audio recordings. This means that only one party to a communication needs to be aware of a recording to consent to the creation of the recording lawfully. In a one-party consent state, the general rule is that you can record it if you are part of the conversation.

Suppose you are trying to record other individuals in a setting where you’re not participating in the conversation. In that case, it’s only legal if they’re in a public area — and thus have no reasonable expectation of privacy — or if you tell at least one of the participants that you’re recording. Otherwise, you run the risk of eavesdropping, which makes you liable for legal action.

In Colorado, like all one-party consent states, audio surveillance needs the consent of at least one participant in the conversation before a recording can take place. So, is it legal to record audio on security cameras in Colorado? The truthful answer is yes, as long as you meet specific requirements.

Audio and video surveillance must adhere to state law, whether for personal or commercial reasons. For both private individuals and business owners, Colorado has particular restrictions limiting the use of audio recording and video surveillance. Fines and jail time are both possible penalties for breaking these laws.

Colorado Audio Recording Laws

It is against the law in Colorado to record a private conversation in which at least one party has given consent. As a result, in order to lawfully record a conversation, at least one participant in the conversation must consent to the recording. There are, however, certain basic and common-sense exceptions, such as:

  • If two or more persons are conversing in a public place. People can’t anticipate privacy here, thus recording audio without permission is legal.
  • Furthermore, you may not record discussions, whether public or private, with the goal of committing a crime.

What are the workplace surveillance laws in Colorado?

In Colorado, employers can legally use video surveillance in the workplace for business purposes. Video recording laws in Colorado stipulate that you cannot record people without their consent if there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in a locker or bathroom. 

Workplace security cameras 

Can an employer record audio at the workplace in Colorado?

Employers are free to institute policies that prohibit recording work conversations, no matter who consents. Violating these policies would not be a Colorado crime as long as at least one party to the conversation agrees to be recorded.

In Colorado, it’s illegal to record a private conversation in which you are not a participant. Colorado is a one-party consent state, meaning at least one person in the conversation must consent to the recording in order for it to be legal.

Conclusion 

Colorado is a One-Party Consent State, which means that at least one person or all persons involved in the recorded communication must consent. In Colorado, secretly recording an oral communication without the consent of at least one party is unlawful. As a result, video surveillance without audio is subject to far less legal scrutiny.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the state’s video surveillance legislation and requirements before installing or upgrading your security system in Colorado. Additionally, hiring a professional security installer will ensure that your installation meets all state and federal regulations.

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