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 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 Illinois laws and regulations pertaining to video and audio surveillance laws 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
Section 720 ILCS 5/26-4(a) of Illinois law establishes several restrictions concerning individuals’ recording or live streaming without their consent in various private settings.
Firstly, it is unlawful for anyone to knowingly create a video, audio recording, or live stream video of another person in places like restrooms, tanning beds, tanning salons, locker rooms, laundry facilities, changing rooms, or hotel bedrooms without obtaining that person’s consent.
Secondly, the law also makes it illegal to knowingly record or livestream someone within their residence, including a rental dwelling, without their consent.
Furthermore, this prohibition extends even when the recording or live video transmission occurs outside the person’s residence, provided it utilizes an audio or video device that records or transmits from a remote location.
These provisions safeguard individuals’ privacy and security in private spaces, ensuring that recordings and transmissions are conducted with proper consent and respect for personal boundaries.
Violating any reasonable expectation of privacy may result in legal consequences for the individual responsible for the unauthorized recording or transmission.
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 has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a changing room or hotel room.
- A device monitors a person’s residence and transmits the footage to a remote location.
What are Illinois’ important security camera laws?
Illinois has specific video surveillance laws that affect security cameras. Illinois Statutes, Chapter 720 Criminal Offenses §-4. It cannot transmit live video and unauthorized video recording as it can be a criminal offense.
They are using an eavesdropping 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 2023
One notable video recording law implemented in Illinois was the Protecting Household Privacy Act in 2021. It restricts device data sharing by requiring a search warrant or consent from the device’s owner, with limited exceptions in emergencies.
The rule, which went into effect in January 2022, comes as criminal 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?
Workplace surveillance laws in Illinois allow employers to monitor practically everything an employee does at work for a legitimate business reason, which is vital to the company’s operation.
The justification for a particular type of workplace video 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 at a reasonable expectation.
Illinois crime statistics show that the state’s crime rates can vary widely depending on the region, with urban areas typically experiencing higher crime rates than rural areas.
When can you record someone secretly?
The only time surveillance laws in Illinois allow you to record someone secretly is if a crime is committed against someone in your household or against you.
The Federal Wiretapping Act applies to audio captured by surveillance cameras. You can use hidden cameras and recording devices to record a private conversation.
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 video cameras may be employed.
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. Nevertheless, it is 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. It 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 security cameras are in use.
Can you video record someone without their consent in Illinois?
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 under a criminal investigation, which is otherwise lawful;
- Correctional officials for security reasons or 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.
Is licensing important when installing security cameras?
In Illinois, individuals or companies engaged in installing and upkeep security systems are required to obtain a license. Contractors who are fully licensed are equipped with liability insurance and offer warranties for all their installations.
Obtaining a license serves several crucial purposes:
- Ensures Expert Installation: Licensed professionals are trained to perform knowledgeable installations, ensuring proper camera placement that enhances your organization’s security and compliance.
- Ensures Safety: Licensed installers prioritize safety, reducing the risk of electrical problems and camera failures that could compromise your security system’s effectiveness.
- Provides Recourse: If the installer performs subpar work, having a licensed contractor allows you to seek recourse through your state licensing authority.
- Offers Protection Against Mishaps: Licensing safeguards against potential mishaps and ensures that the security system is installed and maintained by qualified experts.
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, contacting a licensed commercial security company to guide you through the process is always a good idea.
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