Indiana Recording Laws

Indiana Recording Law Summary:

Is Indiana a One Party Consent State?

Indiana recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In Indiana, it is a criminal offense to use any device to intercept communications, whether wire or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-31.5-2-176. This applies to text messages and e-mails as well. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-31.5-2-110. Indiana does not appear to have a provision for the recording of oral conversations without consent.

You may not intercept wire or electronic conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.

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Recording In-Person Conversations

The state’s wiretapping law does not have specific provisions for recording of oral conversations, however Indiana is considered a one party consent state so you may proceed with recording if you have the consent of one or more parties involved.

Indiana does have a surveillance statute that is separate from it’s wiretapping laws that makes it a misdemeanor to record ‘images or data of any kind’ with an electronic device while alone on private property without the other person’s consent.  While this law Ind. Code Ann. § 35-46-8.5-1 is in place to prevent unlawful photography and surveillance it is unclear whether ‘data of any kind’ could refer to an audio recording device.

How to Gain Consent

If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that you may gain consent to make a recording by:

  • Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
  • A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).
  • An audible beep tone being repeated at steady intervals during the duration of the conversation.

Indiana Video Recording Laws

In Indiana, intentionally or knowingly installing an electronic surveillance equipment (e.g., cameras) that records images or data without the need for human control on a person’s private property, without the consent of the owner or tenant of that property is prohibited. For example, you are not allowed to install a security camera anywhere on your neighbor’s property without the consent of your neighbor. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-46-8.5-1(b)

Telephone and Other Electronic Communications

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-31.5-2-176 & § 35-33.5-5-3

Indiana defines interception as the:

“intentional recording or acquisition of the contents of an electronic communication by a person other than a sender or receiver of that communication, without the consent of the sender or receiver, by means of any instrument, device, or equipment under this article. This term includes the intentional recording or acquisition of communication through the use of a computer or a fax (facsimile transmission) machine.

Women’s Law

Indiana allows for the recording of radio signals that are not scrambled, encrypted, transmitted over a common carrier, transmitted under protected frequencies, or transmitted with the intention of preserving privacy.

In short, you are allowed to record public transmissions, but not allowed to record electronic transmissions if an attempt at privacy has been made.

Hidden Cameras in Indiana

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-46-8.5-1: It is a misdemeanor to place a camera or device while unattended that records images or data while unattended on the private property of another person without the consent of the person who owns the property.

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-4-5(c) & 35-45-4-5(d): In Indiana, it is a felony to secretly record in an area where the subject would have an expectation of privacy, this includes areas such as bathrooms, dressing rooms, or bedrooms. Additionally, it is unlawful to record images of a persons privates without consent.

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-4-5(g): Indiana’s voyeurism law specifically mentions using an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) to enter the space above or surrounding another person’s home for the purpose of capturing images, photos, video, or audio recordings of the person within their home. The law does have a caveat allowing for drone use from an area that is open to the general public.

Disclosing Recordings – Is it a crime to share someone else’s image?

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-45-4-5 sections E and H: As part of the states voyeurism law it can increase the crime from a misdemeanor to a level 6 felony offense to share (publish, transmit, post) illegal images of someone else’s privates without their consent.

Note: If a journalist receives an illegally recorded conversation AND was not involved in the activity AND the matter is an issue of public concern AND the information is truthful, then the first amendment likely protects the publication of that content.

Penalties:

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-33.5-5-5(b): Purposefully intercepting wire and electronic communications is a serious infraction against Indiana’s wiretap laws and is considered a felony offense. Subject to a fine of $10,000 and a maximum eight years of imprisonment.

Ind. Code Ann. § 35-46-8.5-1(b): Violating Indiana’s video recording laws is considered a Class A misdemeanor which carries an imprisonment not exceeding 1 year and a fine not exceeding $5000.

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