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Are ring cameras (door cameras) for security legal in Maryland

******AUDIO RECORDING without two party consent IS ILLEGAL in the State of MD. But private security cameras are not.


My Neighbor’s Door Camera Faces My Apartment. Is That Legal? (Ronda Kaysen, NY Times, 8-28-21) Rental tenants typically cannot install cameras — or anything else — in common hallways. But landlords can.

    “The courts have held that the landlord has a right to put a camera in the hallway and even disguise it,” Mr. Frazer said.


Is it Legal to Record Audio or Video In Maryland without Consent? (Jeffrey M. Bernstein for Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, 3-27-19) It is legal in Maryland to record surveillance video with a camera in your home, including the front porch, without the consent of the person(s) you are recording. Maryland does forbid audio recording of private conversations without the consent of all parties.


Maryland State Laws on Video Camera Surveillance Recording on Private Property (Mobile VideoGuard.com, 6-8-20) Presents the state laws in Maryland regarding surveillance recording, and who may be recorded.

      "When you post these cameras that are only video surveillance, make sure that they are only pointed in the direction of public or community areas. Having these video surveillance cameras posted in areas where privacy is expected by guests, customers, or patrons is illegal....While you are able to disguise cameras, do not attempt to record any audio surveillance without the knowledge and consent of those speaking in the conversation."

Is Your Ring Doorbell Invading Other People's Privacy? (Kinza Yasar, MakeUseOf, 10-22-21) "Drawing a line between privacy and security is not always easy. While the Federal law in the United States forbids people from installing recording devices in private areas such as a locker room, there are no stringent legalities in place for homeowners wishing to install smart doorbells on their properties.
       However, in the wake of growing criticism and legal debates, Amazon recently issued a statement saying: “We strongly encourage our customers to respect their neighbors’ privacy and comply with any applicable laws when using their Ring product.”
       "As a Ring doorbell owner, there will be times when you might end up recording something that falls under the gray zone of legality. But as long as your doorbell is in plain sight, is installed correctly, and not pointing at your neighbor's property, you should have little to worry about." [One apartment dweller we know points their device toward the hallway but not toward the door of the neighbor across the hall.]


BILL 14-22: POLICE – PRIVATE SECURITY CAMERA INCENTIVE PROGRAM – ESTABLISHED (Racial Equity and Social Justice (RESJ) Impact Statement Office of Legislative Oversight)

        The purpose of Bill 14-22 is to increase police surveillance in communities that the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) deems to be high crime areas. Toward this end, Bill 14-22 authorizes the establishment of a program that incentivizes residents and businesses in “priority areas” to install private security cameras. MCPD encourages current residents and business owners with private security cameras to join the Nextdoor platform to “provide real-time crime updates.”

        Presumably, the intent of Bill 14-22 is to encourage more residences and businesses to join Nextdoor by offsetting the cost of private security cameras in areas where they are less ubiquitous.


• Montgomery County resident Brian Curtis points out: "Cameras ARE legal and actually encouraged by [Montgomery County MD] Council Member Jwando & County Executive Elrich. "The entity [condo organization etc.]  is entitled to almost a full rebate.

      *Individual owners do not receive a rebate. See preceding link to bill and resolution: Mont. Co.Bill 14-22, Police – Private Security Camera Incentive Program.


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