The Security Camera Laws in Maine: Everything You Need to Know

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The beautiful coastal state of Maine, known for its stunning beaches, historic lighthouses, and delicious lobster, is a favorite destination for many. Yet, even in such an idyllic setting, property crime remains an issue. Security systems, particularly security cameras, are beneficial in protecting properties, but it’s crucial to understand the laws governing their use and installation. In this article, we’ll delve into Maine’s security camera laws, the penalties for violating these laws, and answer common questions like, “Can I install a security camera in my home or business in Maine?” We’ll also offer tips to ensure your security camera’s legality.

What are the Security Camera Laws in Maine?

While Maine doesn’t have specific laws on security camera use, general surveillance laws provide guidance.

Visual Surveillance and Invasion of Privacy

Maine’s invasion of privacy laws, found in Title 17-A, §511, prohibit visual surveillance in situations where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as homes or offices. This legislation applies to all types of surveillance, including security cameras. It’s important to install security cameras in places where people do not expect privacy, like your business’s common areas or publicly accessible spaces.

Avoid installing cameras in private spaces like bathrooms, dressing rooms, or locker rooms. If you unintentionally capture someone in a private area, you may face charges for invasion of privacy, irrespective of your intentions.

Maine is a Two-Party Consent State

Maine is a “two-party consent” state, as per Title 15, §709, meaning that all parties in a conversation must consent to its recording. Consequently, if your security camera records audio, every individual in the conversation must be aware of and consent to the recording. Signs informing employees and customers about the audio recording can facilitate obtaining this consent.

Penalties for Violating Maine Security Camera Laws

Penalties for breaking Maine’s security camera laws depend on the specific violation. Besides facing criminal charges, you could also be sued in civil court by the recorded person.

Penalties for Violating Maine’s Invasion of Privacy Law

Violating Maine’s privacy law (Title 17-A, §511) incurs the following penalties:

  • First offense: Class D crime punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Second and subsequent offenses: Class C crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Penalties for Violating Maine’s Two-Party Consent Law

Violations of Maine’s two-party consent law (Title 15, §709) constitute a Class C crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

the security camera laws in Maine

Can I Install a Security Camera in My Maine Home?

Yes, installing security cameras in your Maine home is allowed provided you respect the state’s privacy laws. Avoid recording in private areas, such as bedrooms or bathrooms, and if the camera records audio, ensure you have all parties’ consent.

Remember, the camera should not point into your neighbor’s yard or windows. Posting a notice about your CCTV operation can also help ensure compliance.

Can I Install a Security Camera in My Maine Business?

Installing security cameras in your Maine business is permissible, again respecting Maine’s privacy laws. Be certain your cameras do not record private areas like bathrooms or locker rooms, and obtain consent for audio recording.

In Maine, business owners may use video surveillance to monitor activities inside their business, helping to prevent theft or vandalism. Signs informing employees and customers about the ongoing recording are advisable.

installation outdoor camera

How to File a Complaint for Security Camera Law Violations in Maine

If you suspect someone is violating Maine’s security camera laws, you can file a complaint with your local law enforcement or the district attorney’s office. You also have the option of filing a civil lawsuit.

Where to File a Complaint:

  1. You can submit a complaint to local law enforcement through your local police department or sheriff’s office.
  2. The Office of the Maine Attorney General can also take complaints about security camera violations. Visit their website or call their office at (207) 626-8800.
  3. If you opt to pursue a civil lawsuit, you’ll need to initiate this process in your county’s district court.

What Happens After I File a Complaint?

After filing a complaint, an investigation is conducted to ascertain if a crime has been committed. If the accused is found to be in violation of the law, they could face criminal charges and potential penalties such as imprisonment and/or fines.

In the case of a civil lawsuit, the court will decide whether your privacy rights were violated and whether you’re entitled to damages. The court may also order the accused to stop recording you without your consent.

It’s essential to note that even if the person isn’t criminally charged or found liable in a civil lawsuit, they can still be sued for damages by anyone recorded without their consent. This type of lawsuit is known as a “tort” lawsuit.

What to Include in a Complaint

When filing a complaint, ensure you provide all relevant information:

  • The alleged violator’s name and address.
  • The dates and times of the incident.
  • The location where the incident occurred.
  • A description of the incident.
  • Any available evidence, such as photos or videos.
  • Names of any potential witnesses.
  • Any other relevant information.

Filing a complaint is the first step in taking action if you believe your privacy has been violated by improper security camera use in Maine.


Understanding Maine’s security camera laws is crucial for any property owner considering installing surveillance systems. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, remember that you can file a complaint or a civil lawsuit to address the situation.

Security Camera Laws in Other States

The Security Camera Laws in Louisiana

The Security Camera Laws in Kansas

The Security Camera Laws in Iowa


What is considered illegal surveillance in Maine?

Illegal surveillance in Maine involves recording another person in a private place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy without their consent.

Can a neighbor point a camera at my house in Maine?

Generally, if the camera is pointed at a public place, such as the street or front yard, it is likely legal. However, if the camera is pointing at private areas of your property, like your bathroom or bedroom, this could be seen as illegal surveillance.

Do surveillance cameras violate the right to privacy?

Not necessarily. Surveillance cameras can infringe upon privacy rights when they’re used to monitor private areas without consent or when they invade a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy. If you feel your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint or a civil lawsuit.

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