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Are warning signs a legal requirement if you install video cameras?

Warning signs for surveillance are a controversial and (if anything) underlegislated issue.
In most cases, the burden falls on a citizen with standing to engage with authorities if they feel that their privacy has been violated by surveillance cameras, although there are some prominent exceptions for areas where people commonly expect a heightened level of discretion: areas like bathrooms, dressing and locker rooms, doctors' offices (in short, any area where people might undress). The workplace is a notable exception – only five states currently have laws that either require notification that an employer is recording high-privacy areas, or forbid recording workers in these places altogether. These laws are in flux, though, and the tendency is for courts to require more and not less in the way of notification.
Surveillance cameras are generally in areas where citizens have a reduced expectation of privacy than they might in their own bedroom, but warning mechanisms can be problematic on their own. As a 2009 report from Canada's Surveillance Camera Awareness Network observed, it can be difficult to tell from a sign who is doing the surveilling – surely important if the purpose of signage is to induce a state of implied consent. Many signs are also located directly under surveillance cameras, which works fine as a security measure, but is less-than-useful for privacy reasons – according to SCAN, people should be given the opportunity to opt out of surveillance for any reason, simply by walking away, before they enter the camera's field of vision. In Canada, therefore, owners of surveillance cameras are required to notify the public that they're being recorded.
In the United States, by contrast, business and property owners are not required to notify passersby that they're on camera, as long as only video information is recorded. In practice, it generally suits the people who erect expensive security systems to let potential lawbreakers know they've done it – not only does signage do the public a courtesy, it can reduce rates of criminality on its own.

video surveillance signs
Clear, unobtrusive signage is a polite way to obviate privacy concerns.
Regulations and laws change frequently, so it is important to research both national and local regulations.
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