The Security Camera Laws in New Jersey: Everything You Need to Know

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In New Jersey, security cameras play a crucial role in safeguarding properties and overseeing business operations. Just as with other states, the security camera laws in New Jersey provide clear guidelines on their usage. This article delves into these laws, the potential penalties for not adhering to them, and the process for filing a complaint in case of any violations.

1. What are the Security Camera Laws in New Jersey?

If you’re considering beefing up the security of your home or business in the Garden State, you’ve made a great choice. But before you start installing those shiny new cameras, let’s dive into some essential legal information to ensure you’re on the right side of the law. Trust me, having years of experience in this field has taught me how vital it is to get this right!

Invasion of Privacy

New Jersey’s invasion of privacy statutes (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-9) makes it a crime to observe or record another person without their consent in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. So, when placing cameras, be very careful they don’t accidentally capture the inside of your neighbor’s home or their backyard. Your intent might be innocent, but the law doesn’t always see it that way.

Audio Recording

You might be tempted to get cameras with audio recording capabilities. However, under the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act (N.J.S.A. 2A:156A), it’s illegal to record a conversation without the consent of all parties involved. In simple words? Stick to video-only unless everyone being recorded knows and has given permission.

Business Use

For business owners, transparency is key. It’s a good practice to notify employees and customers about surveillance. Not only does this act as a deterrent for unwanted behaviors, but it also protects you from potential legal issues down the road.

Data Storage and Sharing

While New Jersey doesn’t have specific statutes about how long security footage should be stored, it’s crucial to ensure that any stored footage is kept securely. Unauthorized access or sharing of this footage could lead you into hot water legally.

security camera laws in New Jersey

2. Other New Jersey Laws Related to Security Cameras

Here’s a list of other New Jersey laws that might impact using security camera:

  • Harassment (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4): Using security cameras to intentionally harass or intimidate someone, like pointing a camera directly into their bedroom, can be seen as a form of harassment and is punishable by law.
  • Stalking (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10): Using cameras to follow someone’s every move, especially with malicious intent, can be classified as stalking.
  • Trespassing (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3): Installing security cameras on someone else’s property without permission is considered trespassing.
  • Cyberbullying (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1): Sharing footage from security cameras to harass or embarrass someone, especially minors, can be considered a form of cyberbullying.

3. Penalties for Violating The Security Camera Laws in New Jersey

Violating New Jersey’s security camera laws can result in severe repercussions. Civil lawsuits are another potential consequence.

  • Invasion of Privacy (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-9): Those found guilty can face a crime of the third degree or fourth degree, depending on the circumstances. This can result in imprisonment of up to 5 years for third-degree crimes, and up to 18 months for fourth-degree crimes, along with potential fines.
  • New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act (N.J.S.A. 2A:156A): Violators can face a crime of the third degree. This typically means imprisonment of up to 5 years and potential fines.
  • Harassment (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4): Those convicted might be guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, leading to up to 30 days in jail and potential fines.
  • Stalking (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10): Stalking is considered a crime of the fourth degree. However, repeat offenders or those violating an existing court order could face a crime of the third degree. Penalties can range from 18 months to 5 years of imprisonment, along with fines.
  • Trespassing (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3): Trespassing can be classified as a disorderly persons offense, leading to up to 6 months in jail and fines. If done with a malicious intent, it can be elevated to a fourth-degree crime with up to 18 months of imprisonment.
  • Cyberbullying (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1): Depending on the circumstances, a person convicted of cyberbullying can face a crime ranging from the fourth degree to the second degree. This means potential imprisonment from 18 months up to 10 years, with associated fines.

It’s essential to be fully aware of these penalties when considering the placement and use of security cameras in New Jersey. Always consult with a legal expert if you have any concerns.

install security cameras

4. Can I Install a Security Camera in My New Jersey Home?

Yes, homeowners in New Jersey can install security cameras as long as they adhere to the state’s surveillance laws. It’s vital to ensure that cameras do not record in places with a reasonable expectation of privacy. If audio is being recorded, at least one party being recorded should be aware of it.

  • Respecting Privacy: Never record places with a reasonable expectation of privacy. Think bathrooms, bedrooms, or your neighbor’s garden or living room. It might seem like a no-brainer, but accidental breaches can and do happen.
  • Going Audio? If your camera captures audio, ensure at least one party being recorded knows about it. Surprising someone with a voice recording can lead to complex legal issues you’ll want to avoid.
Quick Checklist for Home Installations
1. Position cameras away from private areas.
2. If recording audio, inform household members.
3. Check the angle – ensure you’re not capturing the neighbor’s property.
4. Regularly maintain and check your camera system.

5. Can I Install a Security Camera in My New Jersey Business?

New Jersey businesses can use video surveillance to oversee their operations. However, they must be transparent about their surveillance practices. It’s advisable for businesses to put up notifications, informing employees and customers about the surveillance.

  • Transparency is Key: New Jersey insists on transparency. That means no sneaky, hidden cameras. If you’re monitoring, be open about it.
  • Notify, Notify, Notify: Putting up clear, visible signs that inform both employees and customers of surveillance isn’t just a courtesy – it’s advisable from a legal standpoint.
Quick Checklist for Business Installations
1. Install clear signage about surveillance.
2. Consider areas like changing rooms – avoid camera installations there.
3. Inform employees during onboarding about surveillance policies.
4. Regularly update and review camera positions as the business layout changes.

home security systems easy to install

6. How to File a Complaint in New Jersey

If you suspect that someone is violating New Jersey’s security camera laws, you can approach local law enforcement agencies. For more severe concerns, one can contact the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

Preliminary Checks: Self-Audit Your Concerns

Before reaching out to any agency, you should double-check:

  • Is the camera positioned to invade a place with a reasonable expectation of privacy?
  • Is there audio recording, and if so, has consent been provided?

Consult Local Law Enforcement

Your first point of contact for minor concerns should be your local police department. They’re well-equipped to deal with violations like these.

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice: The Heavy Artillery

For more serious violations or those involving businesses, you may need to escalate matters. The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice is the agency that oversees complaints that could lead to criminal prosecution.

Who to Contact for What
Local Police: Minor concerns, like a neighbor’s misaligned camera
NJ Division of Criminal Justice: Major concerns, like a business violating employee privacy

Document, Document, Document

When filing a complaint, make sure to provide:

  • Photographs of the camera position
  • Witness statements
  • Any other evidence that supports your claim

Await Investigation

Once your complaint is filed, the responsible agency will investigate. This could range from a simple inquiry to more involved surveillance equipment audits.

Legal Proceedings

If the investigation finds that there’s merit to your complaint, legal proceedings may follow. This could lead to penalties for the violator, ranging from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the violation.

Civil Litigation: Your Right to Sue

Aside from criminal penalties, you also have the right to seek civil remedies for any harm done.

So, don’t let that uncomfortable feeling fester. Take action and reclaim your privacy. After all, laws are made not just to be followed but to protect you. And remember, when in doubt, consult with a legal expert to guide you through this process.


New Jersey’s security camera laws strive to balance safety and privacy. While security cameras play a critical role in enhancing security, it’s essential to respect individual privacy rights. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor in New Jersey, being aware of these laws can help you protect your rights and avoid potential legal pitfalls.

Security Camera Laws in Other States


Is it legal to tape a conversation in New Jersey?

Yes, as long as one party involved in the conversation is aware and consents to the recording.

Can I sue someone for recording me without my permission in New Jersey?

If you were recorded in a situation where you had a reasonable expectation of privacy, or if you were part of a conversation and not aware or did not consent to being recorded, you might have grounds for a lawsuit.

What should I do if my privacy rights have been violated?

If you believe your rights have been breached, report the issue to local law enforcement or consult with an attorney for legal guidance.

Can someone video-record me without my permission in New Jersey?

While it’s generally legal in public places where there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy, recording in private areas without consent is illegal. Always be aware of your surroundings and your rights regarding privacy in New Jersey.

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