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.

In-person conversations: The state’s breach of privacy law makes it a misdemeanor to secretly use any device to listen to, record or amplify a private conversation in a private place without the consent of at least one party. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6101(4).

Electronic communications: Similarly, the state law makes it a misdemeanor “to intercept by telephone, telegraph, letter or other means of private communication” the contents of any message sent without the consent of either the sender or receiver. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6101(1).

Hidden cameras: It is a felony to use a hidden camera to film or photograph a person who is nude or in a state of undress without the person’s consent in a place where the person has a reasonable expectation such filming would not take place. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6101(6). The law also prohibits the concealed photography and video recordings of an individual’s body either under or through that person’s clothing without that person’s knowledge or consent. Id.

Criminal penalties: Recording, intercepting or divulging the contents of any private communications without the consent of at least one party is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a court fine. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6602. Secretly taking or disseminating video images in violation of the state’s hidden camera laws are felonies. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6101.

Civil suits: Anyone whose confidential communications are intercepted, disclosed or used in violation of the state’s wiretapping and eavesdropping laws may recover in a civil suit the payment of actual and punitive damages, attorney fees and other litigation costs. Kan. Stat. Ann. §22-2518.

Disclosing recordings: Divulging the existence or contents of any type of private communication is a misdemeanor if the person knows the message was intercepted illegally. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-6101(2). Disseminating any videotape, photo or film image taken with a concealed camcorder used to take nude images of another person without consent is a felony. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 21-6101(a)(7), -(b)(3).