SAYLORSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Last week, winery owners were arrested for allegedly recording and saving both customers’ and employees’ private conversations. Since then, many people have asked us about Pennsylvania’s wiretapping laws.
A local security company says it has also been flooded with calls from unsure business owners and residents with cameras.
David Manento runs Royal Security Services. He says there are a lot of different security cameras on the market. Some come with built-in audio features. He adds, “if we do have a customer who asks us to do audio, we normally say no.”
Audio could be streamed and saved to a phone, meaning it’s accessible anytime, anyplace. Manento shows us one camera set up near the road. A phone app picked up the crystal-clear sounds of cars passing and birds chirping.
“Predominantly, most businesses or places know that it’s not legal to record conversation,” Manento explains.
Pennsylvania businesses can only record sound if all parties give consent or if signage is publically posted.
“And every state’s laws are different. Pennsylvania has very strict wiretapping laws,” says Kim Lippincott, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.
Earlier this month, Pleasant Valley School District’s Director of Support Services was arraigned for wiretapping after allegedly planting a camera in the teacher’s lounge. Joshua Krebs told authorities he wanted to make sure a janitor was doing his job, but detectives say audio was illegally recording.
Lippincott says, “I have reviewed some of the videos and you can clearly hear conversations that are taking place.”
Linda and Randy Rice say they wanted to make sure employees weren’t stealing, but investigators tell us audio was illegally captured.
“Any business owner that’s going to install cameras really needs to educate themselves on the law and find out what they can and can’t do,” Lippincott says.
Instead of installing security cameras on your own, Royal Security Services always suggests calling a professional. That way, they can make sure cameras are set up to comply with state law.