Abuse Using Technology

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August 24, 2016

Is it a crime for someone to take or record private or intimate video or images of me without my knowledge or consent?

It depends.  Taking video or photographs of a person committing sexual acts or in a nude or semi-nude state without his/her consent is usually a criminal act if the pictures or videos are taken in a place where you can reasonably expect to have privacy.  For example, if someone places a hidden camera in your bathroom or bedroom and without your knowledge, this is almost always illegal.  However, if you are on a nude beach or in a public park and someone takes a video of you nude or doing sexual acts, it may not be illegal to share these images since you likely cannot expect to have privacy in that public place.  Again, the specific laws in your state will make it clear what is and is not illegal. 

In some states, the same law that prohibits sharing intimate images may also address the act of capturing images without your knowledge or consent.  In many states, crimes that cover both behaviors may be called violation of privacy or invasion of privacy.  However, in other states, the act of capturing your image without your consent may be covered under a different law, often known as voyeurism or unlawful surveillance.  You can look for the actual crimes in your state on our Crimes page by entering your state in the drop-down menu.