Security Camera Laws in Illinois: Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois is a relatively safe state to live in, with a population of around 13 million people. It is a popular destination due to its stunning Lake Michigan coastline, strong neighborhoods, and world-class attractions.

While each municipality in Illinois has its own mix of advantages and disadvantages, Chicago, commonly known as the Windy City, is the state’s fastest-growing city. The violent crime rate in Chicago is 164% higher than the national average, while the property crime rate is 45% higher than the national average. As per the national average crime rate, there are 382.9 crimes per 100,000 people.

Illinois has specific requirements regarding security cameras and video surveillance. It’s a good idea to learn about the laws and regulations in Illinois that pertain to video surveillance before installing or upgrading your security system. In this article, we will cover some frequently asked questions regarding the security camera laws in Illinois.

Security Camera Laws in Illinois State FAQs:

Security camera laws

Is video surveillance legal in Illinois?

Yes, video surveillance in Illinois is legal. However, Illinois is an All-Party Consent State, which means that all people involved in the recorded communication must give permission. Additionally, it is against the law to intentionally transmit live video or record video footage of another person without that person’s consent in:

  • Any place where a person can reasonably expect privacy, such as a changing room or hotel room.
  • Using a device to monitor a person’s residence and transmitting the footage to a remote location.

What are Illinois’ important security camera laws?

Illinois has specific recording laws that affect security cameras. Illinois Statutes, Chapter 720 Criminal Offenses §-4. Unauthorized video recording and live video transmission make it a criminal offense to use any device to record communications, regardless of whether they are wire, oral, or electronic, without the consent of everyone taking part in the communication.

Illinois video recording law in 2021

In 2021, one notable video recording law implemented in Illinois was the Protecting Household Privacy Act. Essentially, it restricts device data sharing by requiring a search warrant or consent from the device’s owner, with limited exceptions in emergency situations.

The rule, which went into effect in January 2022, comes as law enforcement tries to tap into consumers’ growing collection of internet-connected gadgets, including smart speakers and security cameras. These gadgets can record conversations, movements, and other data that may be used in criminal investigations.

What are Illinois’s workplace surveillance laws? 

In Illinois, workplace surveillance laws allow employers to monitor practically everything an employee does at work if the reason for the surveillance is vital to the company’s operation. 

The justification for a particular type of workplace monitoring must be more important than an employee’s expectation of privacy for it to be legal. An employer, for example, would be unlikely to monitor a locker room but would be allowed to install security cameras in a call center to watch activities.

Workplace Security Cameras

Workplace surveillance rules limit the use of cameras for legitimate commercial purposes. The best security cameras for the workplace strike a balance between video quality, price, durability, and functionality. It is best to use visible cameras and to notify staff in writing that cameras may be employed.

Axis PTZ Camera

Do I have to post a sign for video surveillance in Illinois?

In Illinois, landlords and property managers are not required to post video surveillance signs, especially in public areas. It is, nevertheless, in keeping with sound security principles to display signs indicating that you are monitoring an area.

It is good security practice for businesses to inform customers and employees that they are under surveillance. This is both an act of courtesy and a strong security deterrent. Studies have also shown that people are less likely to commit crimes if they know that security cameras are in use.

Chicago, Illinois – 32,000 cameras for 2,693,976 people = 11.88 cameras per 1,000 people

In Illinois, the only time you can video record, someone, without their consent is if you have a reasonable expectation that a crime is about to be committed against you or someone in your household. 

It is unlawful for any person to knowingly make a video record or transmit live video of another person in that other person’s residence without that person’s consent. Exemptions apply if the making of a video record or transmission of live video is by: 

  • Law enforcement officers pursuant to a criminal investigation, which is otherwise lawful;
  • Correctional officials for security reasons or for investigation of alleged misconduct involving a person committed to the Department of Corrections; and
  • A reporter or news medium conducting an official interview in a locker room.

Conclusion

In Illinois, video surveillance is legal. However, Illinois is an All-Party Consent State, which means that all people involved in the recorded communication must give permission. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly make a video record or transmit live video of another person in that other person’s residence without that person’s consent.

Before installing or upgrading your security system in Illinois, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the state’s video surveillance rules. For additional questions and guidance, it is always a good idea to contact a licensed commercial security company to guide you through the process.

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