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Is it legal to videotape someone?

Region: Ontario Answer # 986

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. A licensed private investigator can help with these types of investigations.

Audio communication

There is a general prohibition against interception of private communications of others by use of electronic or other devices. The Criminal Code provides that everyone who, by any electro-magnetic, acoustic, mechanical, or other device, willfully intercepts a private communication, may be imprisoned for up to five years. The Criminal Code also grants a punitive tort award of up-to $5,000 if the aggrieved person has not commenced a separate civil proceeding.

Video surveillance

The prohibition against intercepting private communications does not apply to the use of video surveillance equipment where no sound is involved. There is no criminal sanction against photographing or filming people or property open to public view. The Criminal Code only applies to the use of video surveillance equipment if it is used to intercept private communications.

More information on privacy laws in the workplace can be found from both the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Get help

For legal advice or representation, contact a lawyer.

To have someone conduct a background check or pre-employment screening and for other investigation services, contact our preferred Investigators:


Smith Investigation Agency

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Smith Investigation Ontario Private Inv. Topic 986Smith Investigation Ontario Private Inv. Topic 986


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