Nowadays, almost at every corner we see security cameras or what we popularly know as CCTV cameras . They have merely made our lives easier and safer. By using security cameras we are able to keep an eye on our house, store, backyard, or any of our other properties. Although not all security cameras are equipped with audio recording facility, some are.
Depending on the features of security cameras, they may end up invading our privacy. There are realistic ways for blinding and hacking a camera. But if you thought that by merely blinding the lens of the camera you could avoid surveillance, then you are mistaken. If you weren’t aware, you should know that security cameras nowadays can also record audio.
Can Security Cameras Record Sound?
If you ask this question in terms of the camera technology, the answer would be YES.
Many of the IP cameras are capable to record both audio and videos. For some of the security cameras with audio input, they can also allow you to add an external microphone for sound recording. For example the outdoor security camera Reolink RLC-423 is one of such cameras.
There is no doubt that security cameras with audio offer you unparalleled benefits. As an example, you can listen to your baby, pets or visitors from distances without physically being there.
Actually, we should know that CCTV cameras with sound recording could violate people’s privacy if not used properly. It is an unavoidable fact.
Can Security Cameras Record Audio Legally?
The laws for audio surveillance vary from place to place and they are generally stricter than video monitoring rules. Therefore, it can be a good reason that explains why not all security cameras have audio.
Here we are taking a few factors you need to check out. It will help you learn whether it is illegal to have security cameras with sound or not.
1. The Installation Place of Security Cameras with Audio Recording
If you have security cameras with audio in your home for security purpose, then without any doubt, your CCTV cameras can record audio legally.
In places where people have the expectation of privacy, such as the bedrooms, dressing rooms, toilets, etc., both audio and video recording are not allowed.
2. Consent of subject to audio recording
Security cameras cannot record sound, according to the privacy laws in most states. This law goes unless you obtain the consent of at least one party involved in the conversation.
The most reliable way to learn if security cameras can have audio, is to search related local, state, and federal laws. Also, you can consult your attorney directly before you have installed any camera.
In places as California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington, all-party consent is important before your security cameras can record sound legally.
You may notice an IP camera in public places and want to check if this CCTV camera is recording audio. As the microphones are normally unnoticeable from a distance, maybe you can only ask the camera owner.
How do you know if a security camera is recording audio?
Here there are five ways in which you can tell whether the security camera is equipped with audio surveillance:
1. Search Online
This is one of the most obvious way to detect a security camera with audio. It would be somehow difficult to know whether a security camera has an embedded microphone. If you aren’t sure and you wan to find out it, take a photo of it. Then, Google to find its model number and you would see its features. It was so easy, right?
Another way for you is to do a reverse search on Google. You can easily search for similar security cameras by doing this. It’s easy, and it takes seconds. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to ask others about the security camera as it would come off suspicious. Therefore, you can do it on your own in just a few seconds.
2. Spot It on The Camera
There are some cameras that you can spot the microphone itself. If you wouldn’t want to go about searching for it, it would be a good way. Generally, you can look out for a small hole in the camera housing for picking up sounds.
Keep in mind that this may not apply to every camera which is facilitated with Audio Iris or AI. If you spot a black hole in the middle of the camera, then you can be sure that the camera records audio. So you’re audio recorded as well.
3. Get Hold of the Footage
It may be the case that you find out that the security cameras in your building lobby or the office’s Xerox room have an audio recording facility. This manner of surveillance can be a direct violation of your privacy, and it is your right to know whether you are under sound supervision.
The best way to know if the audio was recorded along with the video footage is to get the recorded video. If you can access the video footage, download it, and play it to see if any sound was recorded as well.
If you don’t have the footage, you can have a look at some of the other options about it. Or, you can get a security camera for yourself so that you have access to the footage as you need.
4. Investigate around the issue
You still can’t find out if the camera has an audio recording feature? In order to find out if a camera has an audio recording feature the easiest way would be to ask the support team of the company. Many cameras come with the option of disabling audio recording feature. However, that may be very rare. So, make sure you contact the support team and ask. This applies to both private as well as public spaces.
5. Can the camera hear you?
You may be in the optical bandwidth of the security camera but, if it’s beyond a certain distance, then the chances are that the camera can not record your voice. Recording your voice depends on the brands of the cameras, but actually they are usually limited to a certain range. Therefore, if you should talk about something or hear something you don’t wish to share under surveillance, then walk away from a little distance.
Security cameras provide so many advantages for us. They let you leave your house or store unattended while still being able to keep an eye on the space. Crime rates can also be limited as the result of using security camera surveillance.
It is no wonder that more and more places are now relying on security cameras to keep a space free of violations, theft, and robbery. However, it needs to be taken into account whether your surveillance system is invading someone else’s privacy.
If you are someone who is practicing surveillance to inform the people there that they are under audio surveillance. Actually, it is your duty, especially in residential and official spaces. Otherwise, it may be considered an violation of the people’s privacy.
On the other hand, if you are someone who is under surveillance, it becomes essential to ask about the extent of the surveillance. After all, it is a question of your privacy.
If you’ve got any experience about how to know if security camera has audio, please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with us. So we can add more helpful tips here.