Monday, September 5, 2011

Illegal Recording of Conversations and no one seems concerned

It is Illegal to record any ones voice in Pennsylvania unless they give consent to do so. Pa. has one of the strongest anti wiretapping laws in the country .It is a criminal offense that goes to the felony level not a civil matter.
With this in mind you would think a professional big name Integration company based here in Pittsburgh would not have done it and advised against it. But this is not the case.
I was recently removing some video equipment from one of my Institutional customers schools I have several Different Institutional customers who service a wide spectrum from at risk to hearing impaired to Bi Polar Students I service when I came across this exact situation. You can see when they installed this expensive Honeywell based system they had speakers hooked into the DVR and audio hookup wires rigged to the back notice all the small round green cords. lying behind the unit. plus the SLR/XLR ports up front to hook microphones into it. So they can speak into certain rooms
The School along with the Integrators thought it would be OK to record audio because it was to protect the special needs students. Wrong they never should have done it and they should have checked with authorities before they did it.
But since there a school and there special it seems they can do no wrong or so they think.
Sorry but the law is the law . The only way they could have legally done it is thru the permission of the courts and that would be only if they could provide very substantial need for it and the application they where using for would not meet that definition.
This is a very serious matter school officials could very well have faced jail time over this and there just blowing it off like its nothing A school district a couple years back got into very serious trouble and had to sign consent decrees etc after they where caught recording voices on school bus cameras, because they used cheap camcorders in the buses instead of the correct cameras .
Most security business who install cameras in Pa. will not even talk about recording when customers bring it up and advise customers to consult there attorneys about it Period because of all the trouble it can bring. And the best part you the Tax Payer helped pay for this activity.

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