Privacy

This section covers the right of privacy under state law. Most state laws attempt to strike a balance between the individual’s right to privacy and the public interest in freedom of the press. The two primary types of invasion of privacy actions are intrusion upon seclusion and publication of private facts. You can also be liable for portraying someone in a false light, misappropriating their image or likeness, violating their right of publicity, or even for fraud or trespass over gathering the news. This section also covers recording of phone calls and conversations, and videotaping in public places.

Missouri

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): An individual who is a party to an electronic communication or who has the consent of one of the parties to the communication, can lawfully record it or disclose its contents, unless the person is doing so for the purpose of committing a criminal or tortious act. But a lawful recording of an in-person conversation requires the consent of all parties. Mo. Ann. Stat. § 542.402 (West 2012).

Mississippi

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Mississippi bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral, telephonic or other communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its hidden camera laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Minnesota

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Minnesota bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral, telephonic or electronic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its hidden camera laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Michigan

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Michigan prohibits the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any conversation, whether in person, telephone or via any electronic or computer-based communication system, without the permission of all the parties. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its hidden camera laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Massachusetts

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Massachusetts prohibits the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any conversation, whether in person or via wire or telephone, without the permission of all the parties. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its hidden camera laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Maryland

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Under Maryland’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, it is unlawful to tape record a conversation without the permission of all the parties. Additionally, recording with criminal or tortuous purpose is illegal, regardless of consent. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its privacy laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Maine

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Maine bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral or telephonic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its privacy laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Louisiana

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Louisiana’s Electronic Surveillance Act bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral or telephonic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its video voyeurism laws. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Kentucky

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Kentucky bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral or telephonic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its voyeurism laws. Violators can face criminal penalties.

Kansas

Date: 
August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Kansas bars the recording, interception, use or disclosure of any oral or telephonic communication by means of any mechanical or electronic device without the consent of at least one party to the conversation. The state also prohibits the recording and disclosure of images intercepted in violation of its hidden camera law. Violators can face both civil and criminal penalties.