Like cameras, audio recording devices have played a big role in the world of surveillance technology. They are ubiquitous, yet the laws governing their use have been murky and unclear for some time. Generally speaking, however, many people who choose to use these applications are bound by the law to use them in such a fashion that they are either completely legal or admissible in front of a jury. Before using any kind of recorder, it’s wise to check the laws in your state and make sure you are compliant with them in every way.
Businesses and other forms of private enterprise are taking advantage of several applications in the field of audio recording device. Some of these employers are using this equipment to spy on their employees. This could be done for a variety of reasons-make sure the employees are working while on company time, prevent theft, or prevent the stealing of intellectual property or someone giving away company secrets. Again, the laws in this area are tricky. In many states, the law requires that employers post conspicuous signs that inform the employees that they are being recorded.
Private investigators are another group who have made much use of audio recording devices. Since a private investigator is more likely to be hired to check up on a potentially cheating spouse than almost any other job, sound records can make all the difference in the world when it comes to presenting evidence to their client. As it happens, the law is rather more clear in these instances and there have been numerous examples of P.I.s being imprisoned or fined for setting up wiretaps that were not approved by the law. Still, this has not served as a complete deterrent and there are many investigators who continue to make use of this equipment on a daily basis.
For obvious reasons, audio recording devices and procedures came under a great deal of scrutiny in recent years as the Patriot Act and homeland security began making headway into being able to further invade privacy in the name of stopping potential terror attacks. The law in this area started strong for the government but has gradually weakened in the years since 9/11 as more and more court cases have come down in the defense of the private citizen. If you’re looking to use this type of equipment for personal security or surveillance, make sure you have the proper authority to do so before you begin recording.