Is it legal for your spouse to install cameras in your house without you knowing? Technological advances have allowed security companies to produce cameras that are tiny and can easily be hidden. I've been watching the show Cheaters and in some instances, when the couples live together, they put hidden cameras in the house. Is that legal in New York?

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

Can You Legally Record Someone With Your Camera In New York Without Their Permission?

According to Legal Beagle, the short answer is 'yes',

New York State law gives people a right to record via audio or video on their own property, at their place of work and in public spaces. However, they must consider the privacy of others when doing so. This right does not extend to dressing rooms, bathrooms or other places that are deemed private.

According to N.Y. Penal Law § 250.45,

A person is guilty of unlawful surveillance in the second degree when:


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For his or her own, or another person's amusement, entertainment, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing a person, he or she intentionally uses or installs, or permits the utilization or installation of an imaging device to surreptitiously view, broadcast or record a person dressing or undressing or the sexual or other intimate parts of such person at a place and time when such person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, without such person's knowledge or consent.

There are more instances when video recording becomes illegal. You can see them here.

The law applies to recording a person in public, at work, or in private. So essentially, your spouse could secretly record you in the home you share without your knowledge or permission. They would not legally be allowed to put cameras in bathrooms or bedrooms, but they could in common areas like the living room, porch, or kitchen.

***This article is not intended to provide legal advice or counsel

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