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Security Camera Laws in Ohio: What You Need to Know Now



In an ever-changing world, security concerns continue to be a top priority for commercial properties and businesses alike. Ohio, like many other states, has witnessed its fair share of criminal activity in recent years. From theft and vandalism to unauthorized access, the need to take proactive measures to safeguard people and assets and implement robust physical security technologies has become increasingly apparent.

Access control and intrusion detection systems play a pivotal role in fortifying the safety and integrity of organizations. These technologies act as deliberate deterrents, detect probable risks, and facilitate quick responses to issues.

However, since criminal acts not only result in financial losses but can also have detrimental effects on a company's reputation and operations, it is fundamental to guarantee a modern and effective video surveillance solution is part of your security ecosystem for mitigating illicit behavior and protecting your site.

Video surveillance benefits

Security cameras are a key component of commercial security by acting as a visible hindrance to potential wrongdoers. The presence of video cameras signals that unlawful activities are being monitored and recorded, significantly reducing the likelihood of incidents.

Additionally, video surveillance provides invaluable evidence for identifying perpetrators and aiding law enforcement agencies in investigations and prosecutions. By capturing crucial footage, businesses can better protect their premises, minimize vulnerabilities, and create a safer environment for employees, customers, and visitors.

Not only that, but commercial establishments in Ohio face diverse security risks, including employee misconduct, and internal theft. Hence, a comprehensive security plan that incorporates strategically placed security cameras is vital for maintaining a safe business environment 24/7.

By leveraging advanced technology, including high-definition video quality, remote monitoring capabilities, and intelligent analytics, businesses can stay one step ahead of impending threats and respond effectively to issues. Best practices, such as deploying smart security cameras, are indispensable for reducing risks and increasing productivity.

OH video surveillance laws in the workplace

Installing cameras is legal in the Buckeye State as long as:

  1. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in that location, for example in entrances and parking lots.
  2. There is a legitimate business reason to do the recording.
  3. Employers avoid installing cameras in nonpublic areas, such as restrooms, break rooms, and other places where individuals might expect a degree of privacy.

Lawful justifications for the use of surveillance cameras in the workplace may arise from genuine concerns regarding safety, security, or internal company investigations.

Further, hidden camera laws in Ohio address the use of cameras to capture video in private places where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Businesses should be mindful of these laws when installing monitoring solutions and make certain they are not infringing upon individuals' privacy rights. It is recommended that organizations work with an expert physical security integrator to adhere to OH laws fully while enhancing the security of their premises.

Section 2907.08 dictates that:

No person shall knowingly commit trespass or otherwise secretly or surreptitiously videotape, film, photograph, broadcast, stream, or otherwise record another person, in a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Therefore, to facilitate compliance and respect for privacy, business owners and decision-makers are advised to install non-hidden methods of surveillance in public areas, post explicit signage indicating that cameras are in use and recording, and inform employees of recording methods being utilized, camera locations, and footage storage policies.

Audio Surveillance in Ohio

Ohio is a one-party consent state when it comes to audio surveillance, meaning that at least one party involved in a conversation must provide consent for it to be legally recorded.

The revised Code Section 2933.52 prohibits the interception or attempted interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications without consent. This includes the use of interception devices that transmit signals through wires or interfere with radio communications. It also prohibits the use of intercepted communications or their contents, knowing they were obtained unlawfully.

However, there are exceptions to this law. Interception warrants issued under specific circumstances, oral approvals for interceptions, or orders in compliance with federal acts such as the "Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968," the "Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986," or the "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act" are excluded from this prohibition.

Additionally, certain individuals are exempted, such as switchboard operators and employees of wire or electronic communication service providers who intercept communications as part of their job duties.

Thus, if your security camera system is also recording audio, it must be positioned in publicly accessible areas where individuals have no reasonable expectation of privacy. Placing cameras in locations such as entrances, hallways, or parking lots is generally acceptable since these areas are considered public spaces.

Likewise, it is crucial to avoid installing cameras in places where individuals may reasonably expect privacy, e.g. restrooms, break rooms, or private offices. This corroborates compliance with the state's audio surveillance laws and respects the privacy rights of your employees. By adhering to these guidelines, businesses can strike a balance between enhancing security and upholding privacy standards within their premises.

Interfering with employees' rights

Employees have the right to unionize, to join together to advance their interests as employees and to refrain from such activity. As a result, it is unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights.

Some employers and labor unions may find it beneficial to address video surveillance and related concerns through the collective bargaining process. This can involve discussing issues like the purpose of video surveillance, the locations of cameras, access to recorded footage, data retention periods, and any expected impact on employee privacy.

By engaging in collective bargaining, both parties can work together to establish mutually agreeable terms and conditions that serve both the employer and the employees.

Professional security integrator

Fully licensed contractors, like Security 101, carry liability insurance and warranty on all installations. This is important to abide by Ohio’s law.

A licensed contractor ensures:

  1. Knowledgeable installation with proper camera placement to keep your organization protected and compliant in Ohio.
  2. Safe installation to protect against electrical issues and camera failure.
  3. Recourse through your state licensing entity, if the installer does a poor job.
  4. Protection against scammers, fraud, and criminals who use security camera installation as a cover.
Lawful use of video and audio surveillance

Efficient monitoring is important to protect your employees, tenants, and property. Despite that, it is equally necessary to comply with Ohio’s video and audio surveillance laws in order to avoid penalties and expensive liabilities.

To confirm your organization is abiding by the law, closely collaborate with an expert security professional, competent in protecting businesses with sophisticated video surveillance technologies and who knows in depth the specific laws and regulations at state and local level in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo.

Call us today!

Our expert security integrators will help you implement robust physical security technologies, such as video surveillance and access control systems, to mitigate risks and safeguard your premises.