As we have previously addressed, the spy pen is used legally in both the United States of America and Canada so long as video is obtained in an area where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, (no bathrooms, change rooms, etc). As a number of our visitors are from the U.K, we have elected.
For the past three decades, closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras have been a mainstay in the major cities of this nation, particularly London. In fact, it is commonly beleived London itself has more CCTV’s than anywhere else in the world. The 1998 Data Protection Act (more found here) covers the uses of closes circuit television for businesses. This distinction must be made as personal camera use is not addressed in this act.
Instead, personal use of cameras fall under the guidelines provisioned by the voyeurism act, similar to that found in the United States and Canada. So, as mentioned above, consideration must be given to where video is obtained, and that a reasonable expectation to privacy must exist (again, an example where this law would prohibit use is in a bathroom.)
Going back to business surveillance, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has released a set of guidelines stating that there must be signage alerting individuals to the presence of CCTV, and that the angle of the devices must not document individuals who are NOT affiliated (passersby) with the business in question. Cameras which monitor employees must also not be installed in places of expected privacy, regardless of signage.
However, an exception to alerting staff of surveillance cameras my be made if criminal activity is suspected and law enforcement is to be involved.
In the United Kingdom, one must also take into account whether any intended surveillance is in compliance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which details the monitoring and recording of electronic communication.
The RIPA allows individuals to secretly record conversations for personal use. However, it becomes illegal if the recordings are made available to someone else.
A business may record a conversation without anyone’s consent to provide evidence of a business transaction, to prove regulatory compliance, to prevent or detect a crime, for national security or secure effective operation of a phone network. For any other purpose, the company must get the consent of the person being recorded.
In summation, as per the US and Canada, video documentation is legal with the use of hidden devices such as a spy pen, so long as there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Audio recording laws differ somewhat however ultimately do not contravene the use of a pen camera so long as the above guidelines are taken into consideration.