My question involves real estate located in the State of: Pennsylvania
There are laws covering video surveillance of others, and in PA it generally follows the "one-party consent" rule etc. I also know that there was a bill introduced at the federal level by then Senator Arlen Specter and others regarding video surveillance of a person without their consent etc. And I know that there are attempts at getting the laws up to date with technology, because most of these laws date back to the 1960s and were designed for wiretapping communications etc. They were not designed to cover the almost ubiquitous surveillance of people and their private property with the use of, now very inexpensive, video equipment. My question, specifically, is this: Can a neighbor aim video cameras at your house? The typical answer seems to be that if it is viewable "in public" then it is permissible. Would we all not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in AND AROUND our own homes? In other words, obviously if someone would have a camera inside your home somehow to watch you, without your consent, that would be illegal. But what about outside on our private property, in our driveways and garages, in our pools? Yes this is technically in the public view, but when someone can view you in public, they are in public also and you can generally see them - UNTIL NOW. Now people can hide behind their own walls and view the "public" activities of others without their consent and/or knowledge. Would this not at least be stalking or harassment? Aiming a camera at the exterior of your home is also aiming it at your doors and windows. This equipment is no longer expensive or difficult to obtain. Many of these cameras are what we call PTZ cameras because they have pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities. They can be easily controlled remotely - even from miles away using internet protocol. So as an example, when the authorities are looking at it - the stalker shows a wide, far-away image of the street - and when they leave, he pans back over to your house and zooms in and goes back to looking in your windows, and watching your kids swim in the pool. Are we just running behind in legislating this? Or is this how we are all going to live now?