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Are Ring Cameras an Invasion of Privacy?

Last Updated Nov 7, 2022
People talking on a porch

Ring Video cameras are a popular way for people to protect their property and give themselves peace of mind. However, these cameras aren’t without controversy.

Ring video cameras aren’t inherently an invasion of privacy, but they can be if the owner misuses the device. Ring device owners need to be mindful of the privacy of their neighbors and visitors.

Please continue reading to learn everything you need about whether or not Ring cameras are an invasion of privacy. In addition, we’ll discuss the best practices device owners can use.

Things to Avoid When You Own a Ring Camera

Most people purchase Ring video doorbells to keep their property safe and don’t intend to invade their neighbor’s privacy.

However, some situations could make your neighbors and visitors uncomfortable if you don’t execute caution when you own a Ring device.

Don’t Point Your Camera at Other Yards

Sometimes people become paranoid when neighbors purchase Ring cameras that surround their homes.

Protecting your property is acceptable, but aiming your cameras at your neighbor’s yards is not okay.

When your neighbors mow their lawns or hang out with their friends and family outside, they don’t want to worry about whether or not you’re watching their every move.

When you point your video recording devices into your neighbors’ yards, they may feel creeped out and angry.

Be Mindful If You Post Ring Videos

Another situation that’s become controversial is whether or not homeowners should post the footage from their Ring devices.

Posting the video footage that you take on the security cameras on your property is legal. These videos are considered fair use because they take place in your yard.

However, when someone walks in front of your house to get to their destination, they may not want their face plastered on the Internet.

Ring devices are fantastic for letting others know whom to look out for in package theft, home invasion, or other situations your neighbors should feel concerned about.

Consider Disabling Audio streaming.

One of the biggest controversies with purchasing Ring devices for your home is when your neighbors feel like you’re eavesdropping on their conversations.

When recording audio on your Ring device related to a conversation, at least one person involved must provide consent.

So, you cannot post video footage online that involves two people having a clear conversation that they believe is private.

The best way to avoid this situation is by disabling your audio streaming on your Ring devices so you’ll have no trouble using video footage legally if necessary.

Use Proper Installation Methods

The best way to ensure that you don’t trample over any of the video terms and conditions regarding your Ring device is to follow the proper installation methods.

People who need to follow instructions when installing these video cameras often find themselves in trouble for violating the terms and conditions.

If you’re concerned about proper installation methods, you should contact a professional to install your device On your behalf.

Can You Get in Legal Trouble for Ring Footage?

In general, if you capture footage on your Ring device, it’s up to your discretion how you handle the video footage.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • When you capture video on your property, you have the right to that footage, and you can post it online if you want.
  • The only legal discrepancy you should be cautious of before posting Ring video footage is whether or not you’ve captured the audio from a private conversation on camera.

Audio and video privacy laws differ, so you should disable the audio on your ring device or mute the video before posting it.

Speak with Your Landlord if You Rent

While homeowners don’t have to worry about getting permission to use Ring devices on their property if you live in a rental, the same rules don’t apply to you.

Before setting up video surveillance on your rental property or apartment door, you must speak with the property owner.

If your building owner determines that it could be a privacy issue, they have the right to deny your surveillance devices on their property.

It’s completely up to the property owner’s discretion whether or not video surveillance is allowed on that property, so renters must be cautious.

Final Thoughts

Before you set up your Ring camera, you should be mindful of the privacy of your neighbors.

Otherwise, you could create animosity between yourself and others.

Even if posting a video of someone on your property isn’t illegal, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

People who go for a walk often don’t want to be posted online without their consent or knowledge.

The most important legal aspect you must worry about when invading privacy is audio recordings on your Ring device.

Laws surrounding audio and video differ from each other.