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Q: Hidden Camera Investigations ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Hidden Camera Investigations
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: babykins-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 22 Oct 2004 15:34 PDT
Expires: 21 Nov 2004 14:34 PST
Question ID: 418700
In the state of California, it is illegal to videotape and/or tape
record a business conversation between two parties without both
parties' written/verbal consent?
Subject: Re: Hidden Camera Investigations
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 22 Oct 2004 15:47 PDT
Hello babykins~

In California, you may not intercept or eavesdrop on any confidential
communication, including telephone calls, without the consent of all
parties involved.

Recording conversations (audio or video) that anyone would reasonably
expect to remain between the parties present is also illegal.
Conversations at public gatherings that one can expect to be
overheard, are legal to record.

?An appellate court has ruled that using a hidden video camera
violates the statute. California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204
(1989). However, a television network that used a hidden camera to
videotape a conversation that took place at a business lunch meeting
on a crowded outdoor patio of a public restaurant that did not include
?secret? information did not violate the Penal Code's prohibition
against eavesdropping because it was not a ?confidential
communication.? Wilkins v. NBC, Inc., 71 Cal. App. 4th 1066 (1999).?
(?Can We Tape?,? California:

You may find the article ?Can We Tape?? by Reporters Committee for
Freedom of the Press helpful:


Researcher?s Personal Knowledge
A search of

Request for Answer Clarification by babykins-ga on 23 Oct 2004 12:20 PDT
Hi --
I meant -- can a "reporter" go into a private office and videotape a
business conversation between individuals without both parties
knowledge.  I understand that "hidden camera invesitgations" are legal
for public places such as resturants, car dealerships, etc.  and I
know that the recording of phone calls is illegal, but what about
business conversations that takes place in a private office (for
example, a doctor's office)?

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 23 Oct 2004 18:47 PDT
Hi babykins~

The law is still the same. You must have permission, or must openly be
filming (for example, a camera man with a camera), so that if anyone
objects, they have the opportunity to do so. For the complete laws,
please check out the link included in my original answer. I hope this
is now clear, but if not, please feel free to request another

Subject: Re: Hidden Camera Investigations
From: oldskoolbay408-ga on 23 Oct 2004 04:04 PDT
All I have to say is THE USA PATRIOT Act it pretty much stomps every
law out there since it is a "Federal Law"

USA PATRIOT Act available at

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