Legal Situation re: Other Properties?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by abrogard, Feb 2, 2012.

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  1. abrogard

    abrogard Registered Member

    May 13, 2008
    I have a webcam covering my driveway. The neighbour got his car broken into and asked me to cover his, too, which I did.

    Now he comes along and asks me to not do it any more and tells me about a friend who went to court about it - which was kinda like threatening me with court if I didn't comply, which kinda put my nose out of joint because I only turned it that way to please him in the first place.

    Then I show him what the camera is seeing, which isn't much anyway and he goes to great lengths and great detail to tell me exactly where to point my camera so's it does not include so much as an inch of his place - not an inch.


    Got me thinking.

    What is the legal position?

    Anyone know, or know perhaps where I could find out?


  2. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

    Jul 21, 2003
    A lawyer would probably give you some free advice on this question. :D
  3. PaulyDefran

    PaulyDefran Registered Member

    Dec 1, 2011
    Just tell him you re-adjusted's he going to know exactly what the camera see's? Can it see something that you can't by looking out the window? Tell him "no problem, mate...but I have a week of vacation coming up, and I'm going to sit in the window and look at you 24/7". I hate neighbors :D

    Lawyer, like above.

  4. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    You should have told the neighbor sure I will cover your driveway but let me check with a lawyer first encase I accidentally see you wife sunning herself naked by the car and she gets ~ Snipped as per TOS ~. I would retrain the web cam to only show your driveway and talk to a lawyer fast before somebody gets sue happy.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2012
  5. x942

    x942 Guest

    Not sure where you live, but technically he is in a public area and as such has no rightful expectation of privacy. Even though it is his driveway, it is outside and like you said, you could just stare at him 24/7 and there's nothing he can do. That's probably what a lawyer would argue. If he does mention it to you again and asks to settle before he takes it to court tell him what I said above "no rightful expectation of privacy" and get a lawyer.
  6. chiraldude

    chiraldude Registered Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    There is no difference between a video camera mounted on your property and a camera in a vehicle parked on the street. There is no law against taking pictures in a public place.
    Unless you are in a community with HOA rules that restrict the use of cameras, you can legally record video of your neighbor's property. Now if you camera is zooming in on a bedroom window and recording what is happening inside his house, he could have a case against you.

    Now, that's the legal side. The reality is that your neighbor can do all sorts of things to make you miserable. Is he a psycho? Would he do things to get under your skin out of spite? There are lots of things he could do to you that are legal or borderline illegal that you could do little about.

    Tell him you readjusted the camera. If he asks to see the video, tell him whatever he wants to hear. He can't make you show it to him.
  7. noblelord

    noblelord Registered Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    Bit hard to give advice when you don't mention which country you're in. :)

    FYI - in the UK it isn't illegal per se, but if you were recording those who aren't on your land (your neighbour, or those walking down the street) you might have to consider the Data Protection Act 1998. In order to comply you might need to put up a sign saying there is a camera etc, but this law hasn't been fully tested by the courts in that regard.

    Wouldn't a sensible policy to be that the land in question belongs to him, and it's a good idea to respect his wishes, in the interests of being a good neighbour? Although I do think the guy who lives next door to you is being an ~ Snipped as per TOS ~. :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012
  8. brettST

    brettST Registered Member

    Feb 11, 2012
    Generally, if it can be seen from the street by the naked eye, it's considered "public" and no expectation of privacy exists, in the U.S. that is.
    My brother is a photographer, and that is one of the areas that comes up, taking pics of people in "public". Consistently, the courts have said there is no expectation of privacy in public.
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