Now that nearly everyone in the country has a smart phone capable of capturing both photos and video, there is even more concern about being videotaped without consent. The question of whether an interview can be videotaped is a tricky one. The answer depends largely on the type of interview being done and the state where it's conducted. The controlling laws vary from state to state, so research the laws in your specific state before you videotape an interview to avoid ending up with a lawsuit on your hands. Consult with a lawyer if you’re having trouble finding the information yourself.
One of the biggest issues regarding videotaping interviews is obtaining the permission of the interviewee and the interviewer. Oftentimes, if the interview is not going to be published anywhere or used in a court of law, having the parties involved in the taping sign a wavier is all you need to do. Videotaping someone without their permission is almost always illegal and could result in a lawsuit, so the safe course is to obtain permission before videotaping.
Distribution or Publishing
Distributing a videotaped interview is another area that could get you into trouble unless you have the proper release forms signed. If you’re videotaping interviews for the sole purpose of reviewing them at a later date to make a decision on employment, distribution should not be an issue, as you will not be sending the videotaped interview anywhere. If at a later date you decide you would like to use clips from the interview for a training video or other purpose, you should track down everyone recognizably shown on the tape and seek their permission.
Whether or not your videotaped interview is admissible in a court of law depends on how you captured the interview and the laws in your state. Typically, police and lawyers who videotape interviews do so with the express permission of the interviewees, and follow the laws in their state so that the videotapes can be used in a court of law if it becomes necessary. If you plan to use your videotaped interviews for this purpose, consult a lawyer so you take the proper precautions before, during and after videotaping your interviews.
There are even more surveillance laws regarding videotaping minors, so if your work involves interviewing any minors, learn the applicable laws in your state. Typically, you’ll be required to obtain permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian, so have at least one parent or guardian present during taping to avoid problems or potential lawsuits.
Jack Powell has been writing professionally since 2008. He graduated from Red River College with a degree in creative communications and currently writes for a variety of local publications.