Illinois Recording Laws

Illinois Recording Law Summary:

Illinois recording law stipulates that it is a two-party consent state. In Illinois, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record communications, whether they’re wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of everyone taking part in the communication. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-2(a)(1). This means that in Illinois you are not legally allowed to record a conversation you are taking part in unless all parties are in agreement. Although the all-party consent stipulation does not apply to police officers who are performing their official duties, there are strict penalties in place for anyone caught recording police activities in public. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-3(g).

Personal Conversations:

You may not record conversations without the consent of all involved parties.

This law is applicable whether those taking part in the conversation expect it to be private or not. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-1(d).

Illinois Video Recording Laws

It is against the law to intentionally transmit live video or record video footage of another person without that persons consent in:

  • A restroom, tanning bed, tanning salon, locker room, changing room, or hotel bedroom.
  • That person’s residence.
  • That person’s residence through the use of a device that records from outside the residence and transmits from a remote location.

For example, you are not allowed to point your security camera at your neighbor’s house to record inside his or her residence.

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(a)‐(a‐6)

It is unlawful to intentionally transmit live video or record video footage through or under a person’s clothing without that person’s consent. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(a-10). Also, the law prohibits the installation of recording devices for the purpose of recording a person without that persons consent while he or she is in a restroom, tanning bed, tanning salon, locker room, changing room, hotel bedroom or that person’s residence. 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(a-15)(a-20)

Penalties

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-4: Infractions against eavesdropping law are considered felonies, however first offenses are treated as lighter, Class 4 felonies.

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/14-4(b): Offenses are considered a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in jail if a recording takes place while a member of law enforcement, assistant’s state attorney or judge are carrying out their duties in public.*

*In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago (7th Cir.), put the constitutionality of this law up for debate. They decided that parts of Illinois’ Eavesdropping Act are “likely unconstitutional” and that the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois could not face penalties for recording police activity in the public eye. ACLU of Illinois v. Alvarez, 679 F.3d 583 (7th Cir. 2012).

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(d)(1): Installing recording devices in violation of 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(a-15)(a-20) and recording through or under a person’s clothing in violation of 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(a-10) is considered a Class A misdemeanor which carries an imprisonment of up to 1 year, fines not exceeding $2500 and probation.

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(d)(2): Violating video recording laws under 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(a)‐(a‐6) is considered a Class 4 felony which carries an imprisonment of 1-3 years, probation and fines of up to $25,000.

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(d)(3): Knowingly spreading or permitting the spread of videos and live videos obtained through methods that are in violation of Illinois video recording laws is considered a Class 3 felony which carries an imprisonment of 2-5 years, probation and fines of up to $25,000.

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(d)(4): A violation of Illinois’s video recording laws if the victim is under 18 years or if the offender is a person who is required to register as a sex offender is considered a Class 3 felony.

720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(d)(5): A violation of dissemination laws under 720 Ill. Compiled Stat. 5/26‐4(d)(3) if the victim is under 18 years or if the offender is a person who is required to register as a sex offender is considered a Class 2 felony which carries imprisonment of 3-7 years, probation and fines of up to $25,000.

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