Can Someone Record Me Without My Consent?

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Is it legal for someone to come to my garage sale and videotape his shopping and my interactions with him without me knowing it and then putting it on YouTube? I have an expectation of privacy. Thank you.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Some states, such as Massachusetts, have a very strict recording laws, requiring that both parties consent to the recording. If you live in one of these states, you can probably request that a court order an injunction to take the recording off of YouTube. If you can prove that you’ve been harmed by the video, you may be able to sue the person who made it for the damages you’ve incurred.

In most other states, the recording would be legal because we don’t actually have a reasonable expectation of privacy outside of our homes. That means that our yards, driveways, and even open garages are fair game because the public can readily see into them. Even the inside of our homes may lose the expectation of privacy once we invite
the public in during, for example, an estate sale. Therefore, in the majority of states, this recording was probably legal. You may still be able to request an injunction, but it wouldn’t be based on any expectation of privacy. A lawyer specializing in privacy law would be able to advise you more specifically based on your state’s laws and the circumstances surrounding the video.

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Author: House Attorney