Every country has different laws when it comes to allowing audios in CCTVs. For some countries, it is illegal, but for others, it’s okay. One of the questions that are always asked when it comes to security is - do security cameras have audio? Some cameras are capable of recording sounds, while others are not. So, if you are planning to install security cameras for your business or home, make sure you check on your local laws.
Legality of Audio on Security Camera
Most of the CCTV cameras you see around are cameras with no audio. Seldom you see the ones with microphones and able to record sound. That is why you hear most people ask, do security cameras have audio? The truth is that integrating audio to security cameras has something to do with legal matters in the area. Laws vary from place to place. That is why most of the establishments are hesitant to get the ones with a built-in microphone for fear of technically violating certain state laws.
Before you purchase that audio security camera you are eyeing for months, you must know a few considerations that make an audio camera legal or illegal.
- The location of the security camera
Homeowners prefer to have security cameras in their homes to make sure they capture every activity of the house, and this includes the conversation the family has. So, they usually place it in the living room, bedroom, or even in the kitchen. Some owners also position the camera in the entrance of the house or gate to communicate to the visitors for verification before they can let them in. If these are the locations of the audio capable cameras, then there are no rights that are being violated, and it’s technically legal.
But the terms would be different if the cameras are pointed to the places that are expected to be private, like your bedroom or washroom, or any other places that you don’t own, then it can be a violation of rights. So, make sure you know your intentions when you decide to install cameras with audios.
- Consent is freely given by the subject.
Do security cameras have audio? Some businesses need to have audios in their CCTV to monitor and prevent unresolved disputes. If you are a business owner that looks into this possibility, you must inform your customer and employees that your camera is capable of recording sound. You can verbally notify them about it.
One way of letting them know your camera has audio is by placing signs visible to those who come in. If they read the sign and did not protest to it, it can be regarded as consent. Remember that it would be illegal and unethical at the same time to record a conversation without their permission.
Ways to tell if the Security Cameras have Audio
CCTV cameras are an effective crime deterrent, and it can also be a way for house and business owners to monitor their properties. The cameras without audios are already very useful, and few people don’t feel comfortable being recorded with sound. But do security cameras have audio? There are a few ways to know:
- Research about it
If you are unsure if the camera on the establishment you usually visit has audio, one way to find out is to research about it. Check the brand or take a photo of the unit and check online. If it matches the appearance of the unit and the brand, go through its specs and check if it does have a built-in microphone. If it does, then it is definitely capable of recording audios.
- Examine the Camera Itself
You can tell that the camera is audio capable when you check on the unit itself. Generally, your audio capable cameras have a small hole underneath the lens. Usually, CCTV microphones are in the form of a black hole. So, if you want to know whether it is capable of recording sound, then check the physical product.
- Inquire about it
The easiest way to know if the camera has audio is to ask about it. Get information from the owner or the employees of the establishment. Also, there may be signs posted about it that you did not notice. If you are unable to get information from the owner, you can call the support team of the manufacturer of the security camera.
When it comes to securing your property, the best way would be to install CCTV cameras within and around it. This is for on-time monitoring and also to make sure that you capture the activities in the area. But there are instances where you need audio on your security camera to verify further what’s happening to the place. Do security cameras have audio? Not all, but some security cameras do. Some property owners find it necessary. Though it can further give you security and peace of mind, you must consider the legality of installing audio CCTV. Inquire about it with your local laws to avoid legal disputes in the future.