Reply To: Can I give my surveillance videos directly to clients?

Kelly Riddle

    I apologize for not seeing this sooner. Yes you can provide your video to your client. In fact, they are expecting it as part of the services provided. The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” really is true. We typically will take still shots from the video and embed into the report showing key moments and activity.

    As for when and where to shoot video, there is the “Naked eye doctrine” which basically says “if you can see it with the naked eye then you can shoot video of it.” A person has no expectation of privacy in any public area. If a person has their curtains or blinds open and they are doing jumping jacks in their living room, you can shoot video as long as you can see it from the street. In one case we worked, we obtained video of a guy working on a tractor. He tried to say that we trespassed and that we used high-end camera lens. We had to produce the camera we used, which was a Sony that we bought off the shelf at Best Buy. Our video showed our investigator shooting video of the church sign, the parking lot at the church where he was sitting, the street, the barbed-wire fence and then the subject working on his tractor. The judge dismissed both accusations stating we did not trespass and we did not violate any privacy laws.

    That being said, you can’t climb a tree to look into a backyard or use a drone to peer into the yard. I hope this helps!


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