You Should Know … Before You Record a Video or Take a Photo on Your Smartphone!

The latest smartphone to be announced, the Nokia 9 Pureview, has not one, not two, but six cameras.

That’s wonderful news for budding photographers and videographers, but there are a few things you should before you take that Instagram photo or record your next YouTube video.

New Jersey is a one-party consent state: Under the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, it’s illegal to record a private in-person or telephone conversation unless one party consents. Anyone who violates the Wiretapping Act is guilty of a third-degree felony and may also be liable for money damages and legal fees.

New Jersey Courts have decided, however, that some conversations may be recorded when the parties involved do not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” For instance, one court decided it was legal to record a conversation between two police officers out in the field without their permission, because they were talking in a place “more akin to an open, accessible place than an enclosed, indoor rom.”

The Wiretapping Act does not apply to photographs and videos. Generally, it’s legal to take a photo or video of someone if they are in a place where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, such as on a bus, in a crowd at a concert, or in other public areas.

It’s important to note that both New Jersey and federal law make it a crime to videotape or photograph a third party who is nude or engaging in sexual activity, without their consent, in a place where he or she enjoys a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a home, a bathroom stall, or a gym locker room.

And generally speaking, you cannot take photos or video in private spaces if the owner or occupant of a property asks you not to, or to stop.

So grab your phone and take that photo, record that video … but be sure you know and follow the rules.

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