Pennsylvania Recording Law Summary:
Pennsylvania recording law stipulates that it is a two-party consent state. In Pennsylvania, 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 conversation. This means that in Pennsylvania you are not legally allowed to record a conversation you are taking part in unless all parties are in agreement. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5704 (West 2012).
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Is it Legal to Record a Conversation in Pennsylvania?
You may not record conversations without the consent of all involved parties.
However, Pennsylvania law does make an exception in cases where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should not be under the expectation of privacy. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5702.
Examples of Illegal Recording of Confidential Communication in Pennsylvania:
Some common situations where it would be considered eavesdropping to use a recording device:
- Recording your boss in a meeting without their consent
- Intentionally recording your neighbour’s private conversations while in an apartment building
- Using a recording device to intentionally eavesdrop on a private conversation in an intimate restaurant
- Recording telephone conversations without informing the other party (unless you are recording being harassed).
Pennsylvania Video Recording Laws
It is considered an offense of invasion of privacy, for sexual gratification purposes to:
- View, photograph, videotape, electronically depict, film or otherwise record another person who is in a state of full or partial nudity while that person is in a place there is reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s knowledge and consent.
- Photograph, videotape, electronically depict, film or otherwise record or personally view the intimate parts of another person, regardless of whether they are covered by clothing or not, without that person’s consent and knowledge, when that person does not intend such intimate parts to be visible by normal public observation.
- Disseminate images obtained in violation of the laws mentioned above by live or recorded telephone message, electronic mail, Internet or by any other transfer of the medium on which the image is stored.
For example, filming a person in a changing room is illegal because such a room is a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and people may be in a state of full or partial nudity when inside.
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 7507.1(a)
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5703: The recording and disclosure of oral or electronic communications between parties who were under a reasonable expectation of privacy without the consent of all involved is a felony offense.
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 7507.1(b): Invasion of privacy is a misdemeanor of the third degree which is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine ranging from $250 to $5000, or both. If the perpetrator has more than one violation, the offense is classed as a misdemeanor of the second degree which is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or a fine ranging from $500 to $5000, or both.
If someone is using a copyrighted work or recording of yours you may submit a DMCA takedown notice.
Other Pennsylvania Laws