Texas, the Lone Star State, is known for its cuisine, cities, and unique lifestyle. With a population of over 28 million people, Texas is the second-most populous state in the nation.
However, with a high crime rate, Texas’s ability to attract businesses and maintain the workforce needed to power them requires a solid commitment to security.
Guidance and regulations on security cameras differ significantly from state to state. Since security camera laws in Texas can be complicated, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you better assess the security landscape.
All About Security Camera Laws in Texas
Based on Texas law, capturing, broadcasting, or transmitting photos or videos of someone without their consent is considered a criminal offense. Texas law is designed to safeguard individuals against privacy violations and unauthorized recording.
Additionally, if an individual records another person’s private and intimate areas, the severity of the charge can increase.
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What is Illegal Surveillance in Texas?
In Texas, taking a photo or video of someone’s “intimate region” violates Texas Penal Code 43.26. The code clarifies that when that person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” it is unlawful and called “Invasive Visual Recording.” For example, someone in a public restroom stall or a store’s clothing changing room.
An illegal recording, a recording with criminal or tortious intent, is a felony and can result in civil damages. In addition, Texas is considered a One-Party Consent State, meaning that at least one person involved in the recorded communication must consent.
Video & Audio Surveillance Laws in Texas
In Texas, most counties and municipalities have ordinances, statutes, and laws regarding home security. The Texas Occupations Code lays out particular requirements for home security companies to do business in the state or be legally classified as a “home security provider” in the first place.
Unfortunately, the paper is lengthy and contains many legalese, making it very difficult to comprehend. Below are some of the key regulations:
- Section 16.02 of the Texas Penal Code-State law that governs unlawful use, interception, or disclosure of a wire, oral, or electronic communication.
- Section 21.15 of the Texas Penal Code-State law outlines the criminal offense of invasive visual recording.
- Section 29.022 of the Texas Education Code-State law requires districts to conduct video and audio surveillance of specific special education classrooms or settings upon request.
- Chapter 119 in Title 18 of the U.S. Code of Federal Law about the interception of oral, electronic, and wire communications.
What are the security camera notification requirements in Texas?
It is unlawful to install concealed cameras anywhere, regardless of whether it is on private property. Therefore, any cameras you install must be visible. In addition, inform your tenant that the cameras are operational. Consequently, it’s a good idea to include this clause in your lease or rental agreement so that there’s no doubt that you’ve notified them.
Is It Legal to Record a Conversation in Texas?
With the approval of at least one person, you may record or share discussions in which you are not a participant. On the other hand, state and federal laws offer an exception when the person or people conversing are doing so in an atmosphere where they should not expect privacy.
Can My Neighbor Have a Camera Pointed at My Property in Texas?
Yes, it is legal, but based on video recording laws, if your neighbor points his security camera directly into your home, you can show that he is intentionally recording an area where you expect privacy.
You may be able to maintain a suit, but more than having a security camera generally pointing into the indirection of your garage is required to maintain a suit.
What’s the Best Place to Install Home Security Cameras?
Although no two homes are the same, everyone’s property should be safeguarded. Security cameras are an excellent way to increase your sense of security because they always provide you with additional eyes on your property. Optimal places you should consider installing a security camera include:
- Exterior Front Door
- Exterior: Back & Side Doors
- Exterior: Garage
- Interior: Common Spaces
- Interior: Main Hallway
Are Businesses Required to Post Surveillance Signs in Texas?
No state in the country requires business owners to install signage that alerts workers or customers that they’re under video surveillance, provided that the camera is in a public place. Many business owners put up signs even if they aren’t needed. This is frequently done as a service to consumers and as a deterrent to theft and vandalism.
Based on very specific laws of Texas, a business owner can lawfully record video when protecting businesses. Video monitoring is usually done for employee theft prevention and protection. However, employee privacy should also be imposed.
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In Texas, Is It Legal to Have Cameras in Your Apartment?
Yes, tenants are generally permitted to use the exterior of their buildings and can install cameras as long as they do not cause structural damage.
Tenants frequently choose a WiFi camera system that does not require drilling or wiring. Tenants prefer a more integrated system and typically coordinate with a professional security company to guide them.
Also read: Security Camera Laws in Florida
Do I need permission to install security cameras on my private property in Texas?
No, you generally do not need permission to install security cameras on your private property in Texas. Property owners have the right to monitor and record activities on their property.
However, based on the Texas Private Security Bureau, all installed video surveillance equipment should be of objectively reasonable expectation of privacy. Since Texas is a one-party consent state, video surveillance and audio recording for security awareness should have at least one-party consent.
Can I place security cameras in Texas public areas, such as sidewalks or streets?
It’s generally acceptable to place security cameras on your property to monitor your surroundings, including public areas like sidewalks or streets.
You can legally record in public areas, but according to the particular laws of Texas, you should install surveillance equipment in places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The recording device is usually placed to prevent theft and external threats to residences and ensure public safety. However, based on Texas statutes, you should avoid positioning cameras in a way that invades someone else’s privacy or is used for illegal purposes.
Can I use hidden or covert surveillance cameras in Texas?
Hidden cameras or covert video surveillance cameras may be used in Texas, but they should not be used to invade someone’s privacy or engage in illegal activities.
Based on the video surveillance laws of Texas, respect for privacy rights and adherence to the law are essential. Texas business owners can have pre-recording consent for workflow monitoring and employee interactions, but hidden cameras should follow important Texas Laws.
Are there any additional regulations for public cameras in Texas?
Public surveillance cameras, such as those operated by law enforcement or government agencies, must comply with federal and state surveillance and data storage laws. These agencies often have policies and procedures for using public surveillance cameras.
When deployed appropriately, security cameras improve a property’s security posture. While security cameras are legal in Texas, reviewing local guidelines and talking with a professional security camera installer is an excellent idea to ensure you get the best security system for your property.
For businesses and property owners in Dallas or Austin, Texas, access control solutions are also available to enhance your security measures further and ensure comprehensive protection for your premises.