Security camera laws in Texas: What you need to know
Texas businesses must use a wide range of cutting-edge technologies and best practices in order to eliminate vulnerabilities. Some of them, like a top-notch video surveillance system, are essential to protecting your assets from internal and external threats and maintaining the security of your site around-the-clock.
Working with a seasoned security integrator and picking the correct cameras to harden a site may help Texas business owners and security managers considerably raise security awareness and improve visitors’ and workers’ feelings of safety. Moreover, sophisticated cameras may be a powerful deterrent to crime and a crucial tool for documenting and reporting security flaws.
Commercial security cameras for business
- Business security cameras with enhanced coverage and IR that improve situational awareness
- Video analytics with AI to find incidents
- Hours of video are easily sorted through by Video Search to locate a suspicious person or vehicle.
- Integrates with third-party ONVIF® compliant platforms
PLACEMENT OF SECURITY CAMERAS
After choosing the right video surveillance solutions, it’s important to strategically position your cameras. They can increase capture rates and detain offenders outside.
This is supported by a 2012 University of North Carolina research entitled “Understanding Choices to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective,” which surveyed and questioned 422 jailed male and female thieves to ascertain the efficacy of high-tech security camera systems.
The great majority of offenders said they were adversely influenced by the presence of security cameras, which amplifies the data’s demonstration of the effectiveness of securing your business with a smart surveillance solution. A little over 60% of them claimed that a system like that would force them to change their targets and stop their illegal conduct.
Cameras for indoor use are also essential. They may assist in workflow monitoring, discourage employee theft, stop shoplifting, prevent frivolous litigation, lower your insurance costs, and assist in making your workplace safer.
TEXAS’S LAWS ON SECURITY CAMERAS IN THE WORKPLACE
If just video is taken at work in Texas, notification and consent are not required but are strongly advised. But, notification and approval are needed if audio is also being recorded. Signs letting clients know there are cameras there should be prominently displayed on the property.
- Include a provision concerning video surveillance in your rental agreement if you are a landlord or property manager.
- If you’re an employer, inform your personnel that you’ll be videotaping specific places and receive their written permission. The best method for you as a business owner to defend your organization against claims of privacy invasion is to establish clear guidelines for employee privacy from the start and reaffirm these values through written agreements.
Some important Texas laws to follow are as described in the following:
- Sec. 21.15. When someone films, broadcasts, or transmits a visual picture of a space where it is known that workers may frequently undress, such as a toilet or dressing room, without the other person’s permission and with the aim to breach their privacy, they are breaking the law. Voyeurism and intrusive visual recording are significant crimes in the Lone Star State.
- In public areas, there is no expectation of privacy. No matter how secluded a public area may appear to be, courts seldom determine that there is an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in that area.
- Hidden cameras. Even if the camera is disguised, capturing video without sound is often acceptable unless the subject of the recording has a legitimate expectation of privacy, the recording is made in violation of the law, or trespass was committed in order to capture the image.
- Recordings from surveillance should only be seen by authorized persons. If videos are shown to unknown parties, defamation and breach of privacy lawsuits may follow.
AUDIO RECORDING: TEXAS — LONE STAR STATE
States are allowed to establish their own legislation governing audio and video surveillance. When it comes to recording conversations, Texas is regarded as a “one-party consent” state. This implies that it is illegal in Texas, in violation of Penal Code Section 16.02, to knowingly intercept or covertly record any wire, oral, or electronic communication without at least one party’s agreement.
You may lawfully record a conversation if you participate in it or have one of the participants’ permission. Both parties must agree before the recording device is switched on if you want to record a discussion in which you are not a participant, or there must be no reasonable expectation of privacy for the recording to be legal.
Yet, it’s important to be aware of other state laws that can need for the pre-recording consent of all parties if there are numerous people present during an audio recording in Texas who are located in separate states. In this case, the recorder is not in breach of wiretapping regulations provided they receive the other parties’ approval before the recording starts.
REQUIREMENT OF A LICENSE
To install surveillance equipment on public property in Texas, one needs a state contractors license granted by the Texas Private Security Bureau, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Houston Security Solutions is a licensed contractor who guarantees all installations and has liability insurance.
A license ensures:
- Installing cameras strategically and with knowledge will keep your business safe and compliant.
- Secure installation to fend against electrical problems and camera malfunction.
- If the installation does a terrible job, you can seek recourse through the licensing body in your state.
- Protection from fraud, scams, and criminals that utilize the installation of security cameras as a front.
RIGHTFUL VIDEO SURVEILLANCE
Employers must have a good reason for using video cameras to watch over staff members. The scope of acceptable video surveillance may be governed by state privacy legislation. The majority of the rules restricting the use of video surveillance in the workplace in locations like bathrooms, break rooms, and other places where there is a justifiable expectation of privacy.
In situations where there are expensive objects and theft prevention is essential, it is fairly typical for retail establishments, banks, restaurants, and other enterprises who deal with the public to use video surveillance.
Although while workers who work in cubicles often believe they have some kind of privacy, many firms of all kinds observe employee interactions. If the insured organization has video surveillance installed, business insurance companies could even provide cheaper prices.
It is usually a good idea to inform employees when cameras are being utilized at work, regardless of the purpose. Additionally, because Texas has very specific laws regarding audio recordings, working closely with a security expert who specializes in protecting businesses with cutting-edge video surveillance technologies and who is thoroughly familiar with the relevant state and local laws and regulations in Texas is essential. (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio).
Effective surveillance is important for safeguarding lives and property. To prevent fines and liabilities, it is equally important to make sure Texas legislation is being followed.
Don’t risk legal
Contact us right now to set up a consultation with one of our qualified security consultants. We will assist you in seamlessly navigating the complicated terrain of video surveillance laws. Your company deserves the greatest protection possible!