Georgia visual surveillance law prohibits any person
from observing, photographing, or recording any other
person in a private place and out of public view without
the consent of all persons observed. The rigidity of this
all-party consent requirement and the ambiguity of the
private/public place distinction leave investigators and
prosecutors in Georgia guessing as to the admissibility of
visually recorded evidence much of the time. On the other
hand, federal visual surveillance law encompasses a one-
party consent exception and is couched in terms of a
reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth
Amendment. Moreover, several federal courts have stated
that defendants do not have a reasonable expectation of
privacy in the illicit activities that they voluntarily expose
to third parties who secretly may be recording the
This Note explores the discrepancies between Georgia
surveillance law and its federal counterpartsand suggests
revisions for the laws governing video recordings in
Georgia. It ultimately proposes that aligning Georgia
surveillance law with the federal system would allay many
of the problems caused by the current Georgia statute.
This Note also argues that defendants should not have a
reasonable expectation of privacy in the criminal activities
that they voluntarily expose to third parties and that
aligning the Georgia visual surveillance statute with
federal law would allow more probative evidence to come
before fact-finders in Georgia courts.
Martinez, Mary B.
"Location, Location, Location: A "Private" Place and Other Ailments of Georgia Surveillance Law Curable Through Alignment with the Federal System,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 46:
4, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol46/iss4/7