Security Camera Laws in Oregon: Frequently Asked Questions

Who wouldn’t want to live in a beautiful state that is flanked on one side by the ocean and the other by desert and mountains? There is a reason why Oregon is home to some of the world’s top corporations, as well as a diverse economy that keeps attracting new visitors.

Despite its natural beauty and thriving economy, Oregon has the second-highest property crime rate in the Pacific Northwest. Since larceny-theft accounts for more than 80% of property crime in Oregon, it’s understandable that residents would turn to security cameras for added protection.

In this article, we will cover some of the frequently asked questions regarding the security camera laws in Oregon to give you a better idea of the video surveillance laws in the Beaver State.

Security Camera Laws in Oregon FAQs:

Oregon state Portland city security camera.

What is considered illegal surveillance in Oregon?

In Oregon, it is considered illegal to record, photograph, videotape, or other visual recordings of another person’s intimate area without their consent. While video surveillance is legal, you can get into trouble if your video surveillance equipment has audio recording capabilities. The bottom line is that video surveillance in Oregon is perfectly legal as long the person being recorded does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Reasonable expectation of privacy

A person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, also known as the “right to be left alone,” means that someone who intentionally compromises another’s interest in keeping their affairs confidential can be held liable for that exposure or intrusion.

2021 Video Surveillance Laws in Oregon State

In Oregon, there was no major video surveillance legislation passed in 2021. However, Oregon lawmakers did adopt a bill requiring participants on video calls to tell everyone else on the call if they intend to record it. So, while there was already a rule prohibiting unannounced recording in-person discussions, it did not apply to video conferencing platforms.

Oregon Audio and Video Penalties

While video surveillance is legal in Oregon, if your system has audio recording capabilities, you may be breaking the law if you conduct surveillance without sufficient notice or in an area where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. The following laws provide the regulations and penalties on video surveillance in Oregon:

  • Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 165.535, 165.540. Oregon requires the consent of at least one party for the lawful recording or disclosure of electronic communications.
  • Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 165.535, 165.540. In Oregon, you can lawfully record electronic discussions with the consent of one party, but recording an audio conversation requires the consent of all parties involved (in person).
  • Lastly, you do not need permission to record electronic communications that are publicly available.
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Is Oregon a One Party Consent State?

Oregon is considered both a One-Party and an All-Party Consent State, in that, at least one person or all persons (depending on the presiding law) involved in the recorded communication must give permission. Except in specific cases, such as when all parties reasonably should have known they were being recorded, recording in-person discussions needs the consent of all participants. An illegal recording is a misdemeanor that can result in civil liability and unwanted disruptions.

Portland Oregon Security Cameras

Security Cameras in Oregon

Oregonians use security cameras for the same reasons that homeowners and businesses owners count on video surveillance worldwide. Surveillance cameras in Oregon serve to increase security while also improving the general safety of the area. In addition, security cameras are essential for the almost 43,000 small businesses that operate in the Portland Metro region in a city like Portland.

Can my neighbor legally point a security camera at my property in Oregon?

In most cases, your neighbor can legally point their towards your property; however, in locations where there is a legitimate expectation of privacy, your neighbor does not have the right to record you or anybody else without your consent.

What are Oregon’s Workplace Surveillance Laws?

Oregon workplace surveillance laws include provisions that employers must take into consideration when implementing an integrated video surveillance system. In Oregon, workplace surveillance is perfectly legal because employees have no expectation of privacy while at work. 

Hidden camera guidelines in Oregon are similar to other states. In general, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with your home, including installing security cameras. However, it is a misdemeanor to photograph or record a person without consent in a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Conclusion

Oregon is a One-Party Consent State as well as an All-Party Consent State, which means that at least one person or all persons involved in the recorded communication must consent (depending on the ruling legislation). It is illegal in Oregon to secretly record an oral communication without the approval of at least one party. Fines and civil penalties may be imposed if Oregon’s video surveillance requirements are not followed. If you’re looking for a security camera installer that knows all the regulations in Oregon, reach out to us!

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