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What to do when Illegally Recorded

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

It seems nowadays that for every event, for every circumstance, for every occasion there is someone ready to record it on a smart phone. The sense of privacy which existed before smartphones became so prevalent is long gone. With social media controlling so much of what people see and hear, there is no shortage of videos that go "viral." Social media, in particular, abounds with video clips of sometimes tasteless, embarrassing, risqué and inappropriate content.

What can people legally record? What is off limits?

In Arizona, a statute sets out some limits to what can be videotaped and photographed. Arizona Revised Statute 13-3019 makes it illegal to photograph, videotape, or film another person without their consent under two circumstances:

  1. You cannot videotape someone without their consent in a restroom, bathroom, locker room or bedroom or any other area where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy,


The person is urinating, defecating, dressing/undressing, nude or involved in a sexual activity;

  1. Nor can you videotape someone without their consent in a manner that directly or indirectly captures the viewing of the person's genitalia, buttock, female breast, whether clothed or unclothed which would otherwise not be visible to the public.

It is illegal to publish in any way (which means disclosing, displaying, or distributing) any recording captured in the way described above without the knowledge and consent of the person videotaped. Arizona treats violations of this law fairly seriously. It is a class five felony to record or videotape in the manner described above, unless the person depicted is recognizable and it then becomes a class 4 felony.

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