Is it legal to record me without my permission in Georgia?

The information provided below is general in nature. For more legal information about specific rules in Georgia you need to either talk to a lawyer or review your Georgia’s wiretapping laws.

All states have laws which determine the legal requirements for recording conversations between parties within the state. Although state laws specifically relate to wiretapping and eavesdropping, the laws also generally include actions such as electronic recording of any conversations, including phone calls.

All states have imposed one-party or all-party (also known as two-party) consent statutes which will be discussed in more detail below. Consider, however, it is illegal in every state (in most circumstances) to record a telephone conversation without the consent of at least one party involved in the conversation.

The FCC (Federal Communication Commission) also has passed additional regulations which require parties to give verbal notification if a telephone conversation is going to be recorded.

Prior to recording any type of conversation it’s imperative to understand the laws of your state.

One-party vs. all-party consent statutes

One-party consent statutes allow for conversations to be recorded if one participating party member agrees to the recording. The consenting party does not, however, have to notify the other party members that the conversation is being recorded. Currently there are thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia which permit recorded conversations under this agreement.

The remaining states- California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington- all have an all party consent rule, also referred to as “two-party” consent rule, although if there are more than two parties all parties in the conversation must consent to the recording.

Georgia state laws and wire-tapping

According to Georgia’s wiretapping laws, Georgia is a one-party consent state, which means at least one party in the conversation must be consent to the recording of the conversation (O.C.G.A. § 16-11-66).

This means that you may only record a conversation on the phone or in-person in a private place if you obtain the consent of one party member or you are party to the conversation.

Can I be videotaped without my permission?

Given the proliferation of handheld video and audio recording devices having your voice recorded may be the least of your worries. What about having someone video record you without your permission?

Thirteen states currently have hidden camera laws which prohibit the use of recording devices without consent in a private place.

In the State of Georgia there are also state statutes which make it a crime to use a device to "observe, photograph, or record the activities of another person which occur in any private place and out of the public view,” unless the recording party gets consent from all recorded parties (O.C.G.A. section 16-11-62).

If someone violates the statute outlined above they may be charged with a crime and they may also be civilly liable for damages, more so if the video recording is made public.

Video recording someone in public

Another interesting question is raised in regards to recording someone in public. The legality of public recording is based on the notion of expectation of privacy. Courts have generally upheld that if someone is in public they have no expectation of privacy and can be recorded as long as they are in plain sight and the individual who is recording is also not hidden.

Video recording where there is an expectation of privacy, however, such as in a bathroom, locker room, changing/dressing room, and adult bedroom would be illegal.

Taking a recording, even if it is done legally, and attempting to profit from the recording, however, is generally not allowed without the consent of the recorded person.

Bottom Line:

If this user is asking about whether or not their voice can be recorded by someone, such as a disgruntled ex-spouse, without their knowledge or consent, the answer is no.


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