What is considered illegal surveillance in Texas?

In Texas, it is considered illegal to conduct surveillance on another person without their knowledge or consent. This includes activities such as videotaping, photographing, or eavesdropping on conversations. Doing so can result in criminal charges being filed against the person conducting the surveillance. Additionally, any information obtained through illegal surveillance may not be used as evidence in a court of law.

Frequently Asked Question

  1. What is considered illegal surveillance in Texas?

  2. In Texas, it is illegal and considered “Invasive Visual Recording” if someone takes a photo or a video of someone’s “intimate area” (as defined above in the statute) when that person has a “reasonable expectation” that they are not “subject to public view.” As for example, someone in a public bathroom stall or in a ..14 Sept 2018 [1]

  3. Can my neighbor have a camera pointed at my backyard Texas?

  4. The short answer is, yes it is legal.6 Sept 2017 [2]

  5. Can I video record someone in my home in Texas?

  6. Private conversations are covered by wiretapping laws. Under Texas law, you do not have the right to intercept or record private “wire, oral, or electronic communication” without the permission of at least one party who is involved in the conversation.11 Mar 2021 [3]

  7. Can you record someone in Texas without their knowledge?

  8. Texas is considered a “one-party consent” state. This means that unless at least one of the parties to a conversation consents, both Texas and federal wiretapping laws make it a crime to record an audio conversation, either in person or over the phone, if the parties have a “reasonable expectation of privacy”.19 May 2022 [4]

  9. Do I have to put signs up if I have CCTV?

  10. When figuring out where you can point your CCTV cameras, you must ensure signs are visible by everyone who can be seen by them. For example, if a camera is pointing outside of your property, then those it may capture should be able to see the signs. Signs should be large enough to act as a deterrent, too.12 Feb 2020 [5]

  11. Can you take video of someone without their permission?

  12. Generally, it is illegal to secretly record oral communications between two or more people unless you have the consent of at least one of the individuals involved. For pure video recording with no sound, however, you may have greater freedom to secretly tape people. [6]

  13. Is it against the law to record someone without their knowledge?

  14. Recording a conversation in secret is not a criminal offence and is not prohibited. As long as the recording is for personal use you don’t need to obtain consent or let the other person know.21 June 2018 [7]


In Texas, illegal surveillance is defined as secretly recording or observing another person without their consent. This includes things like hiding a camera in someone’s home or office, or using binoculars or a telescope to spy on them from afar.

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Illegal surveillance can have serious consequences, including up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. So if you’re thinking about spying on your neighbor or your ex-girlfriend, you might want to think twice – it’s not worth the risk!

Sources –

  1. https://www.dallasjustice.com/invasive-visual-recording-texas-felony-arrest/
  2. https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/in-texas-is-it-legal-for-a-neighbor-to-record-with-3179018.html
  3. https://www.superlawyers.com/texas/article/can-you-record-someone-without-permission-in-texas/8aa94cee-29a5-4e1b-b42b-9d649eeece99.html
  4. https://guides.sll.texas.gov/recording-laws/audio-recording
  5. https://www.labelsource.co.uk/news/post/cctv-what-the-law-says-about-declaring-surveillance
  6. https://www.legalline.ca/legal-answers/is-it-legal-to-videotape-someone/
  7. https://www.dma-law.co.uk/is-it-illegal-to-record-conversations/

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