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Do I Need A Release? – The ISBA Talks Privacy Laws

Question: If I photograph or videotape someone in public without their consent, am I violating the law? Answer: In most instances, no. Generally, people who are out in public are not entitled to the same level of privacy that they have in their homes. However, federal and state laws limit the right to record the activities of people engaged in private activities that they would reasonably expect to be private, such as in a restroom, tanning salon, locker room or hotel bedroom. Videotaping someone under such circumstances could be considered a “violation of intrusion.”       For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to   Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit