Hidden home surveillance cameras. Are they legal?

To stay safe at home we can resort to different means. One of the most used lately is the installation of hidden surveillance cameras for the home. However, its use is not legal in all situations. Do you want to know what they are?

At home we have both people and goods that are important to us, and it is normal for us to look for ways to achieve comprehensive security. For this reason, in recent years video surveillance systems have become fashionable.

What we must never forget is that capturing images constitutes personal data. We have to be careful with the regulations regarding data protection.

To avoid confusion, it is first necessary to know differentiate between private recordings and video surveillance. They are private recordings if they are made for private purposes, either in a public or private space.

Video surveillance is recording made for security purposes in public places. For example, a camera installed on a street by the State Security Forces and Bodies or a camera that records what happens in a business.

Now, if the camera is inside a private home, it is not considered video surveillance but private recording.


The installation and recording with a hidden camera at home will be legal or illegal depending on the purpose pursued with it.

If a lawful purpose is sought, such as improving home security, it is totally legal as long as the recordings are not used for any other purpose than to prove that a crime has been committed.

What is totally illegal is the placement of hidden cameras in intimate spaces such as a bathroom. Here we teach you how to detect a spy camera.


When should hidden home surveillance cameras be installed?

In most of the cases in which a hidden camera is installed, it is done to control the employees. For example, if there is a domestic worker or a babysitter at home.

However, the recordings obtained in these cases will not be legal if the worker has not been previously informed that they are being recorded.

Although it is a private address, for the employee it is her workplace, so he must be informed if recordings are being made.

Another reason to install hidden cameras is to get evidence that someone is committing a crime in the home, for example abusing a minor. In these cases, logically, there will be no need to inform about the installation of the camera.

Do hidden home surveillance cameras serve as valid evidence in court?

If the hidden camera It has been used in compliance with the requirements established to consider that its use is legal, the images that it has captured can be used in court without any problem.

In those cases in which the use of the camera is illegal, the captured images may serve as proof that the camera was being misused in breach of with current legislation.

There are not a few cases in which the recordings have served to condemn precisely the person who installed the WIFI spy camera. In Spain there are several cases of people convicted of recording images of their relatives in the bathroom.

What does the jurisprudence say about spy cameras at home?

The phenomenon of recording in private homes is newer than it seems, so the legislation has not yet clearly resolved it.

The jurisprudence has determined that the recordings made on public roads and in work spaces are legal and valid as evidence if the installation of cameras has been notified and they do not point to places where they could affect to the privacy of people (a bathroom, a changing room, etc.)

When it comes to installing spy cameras at home, acceptance as evidence by the courts is somewhat more complex.

In many cases they are not admitted as evidence as they are recordings made without the consent of the protagonist. However, the judges agree that exceptions should be made.

Thus, a recording made with a spy camera in a home is admitted as evidence if the recording does not violate any constitutional right, if the content demonstrates that there is a crime and furthermore there is no other way to prove that this crime was being committed.

A topic that continues to generate controversy

As you have been able to verify, the lack of a specific regulation on this subject means that the courts are the ones that have to resolve on a case-by-case basis whether the recordings made with spy cameras are they legal or not.

If you are thinking of installing one at home, it is recommended that you only use it if you suspect that a crime is being committed. Also, keep in mind that the sole purpose of the recording will be to demonstrate said crime before the judicial authority, so you will not be able to broadcast it in any way.

Outside this case, the recording of third-party images can violate the data protection law and even violate the honor and privacy of people, which can lead to prison sentences.

When using spy cameras, you must always do so bearing in mind that we must pursue a purpose as legitimate as the discovery of a crime.

If what you want is to control employees who work at home when you are not there, it is better not to use these types of cameras. Install a video surveillance system and notify your employees that they are being recorded. If you do not do so, you will not only be penalized, but the captured images will not be legal and you will not be able to use them in court.

The 5 best hidden surveillance cameras for home

Cameraspy hidden in smoke detector

On the outside it is just a smoke detector fumes normal and ordinary, what nobody will appreciate is that inside the casing there is a lens with the capacity to record videos in high definition with a resolution of 1280 x 720 p in AVI format .

It also includes four IR LEDs that allow the camera to capture images even at night. And since it does not have a power-on warning LED, no one will realize that it is really a a camera.

The good thing is that a smoke detector can be anywhere in the house, so it goes quite unnoticed. You choose if you want it to work with its internal battery (it has an autonomy of 90 minutes) or if you prefer to have the device connected to the electrical network for unlimited autonomy. And it can record both in continuous mode and be activated only in case of detecting movement.

Once the recording spy device is installed in its place, you don't have to worry about anything else, because all the configuration can be done from its mobile app. You can vary the frame rate, change the light settings and whatever you need. In addition, the software allows you to connect up to four cameras at the same time so you don't miss anything that happens in your home.

This hidden spy camera includes a P2P WiFi module , so you can connect a mobile within the range of the signal and thus see live what the camera is capturing device. And since it includes a spy microphone, you can also listen to everything that happens.

Hidden spy camera in smoke detector

Spy camera hidden in an air freshener

The more normal and ordinary the object in which a spy camera is hidden, the more difficult it is for it to be discovered, because nobody is going to imagine that something as simple as an air freshener could have hidden a recording device.

This time it is a device made in Europe with the best quality technology, so you can see the image with the same quality as if you were in the place where the that the events you are recording are unfolding.

Inside the spy air freshener there is a camera capable of capturing images at 1280 x 720 p resolution, although if you need it you can also adjust the resolution to 720 x 480 and 640 x 480 p. You can capture images continuously or by motion detection. And since it includes a PIR sensor, it can also be activated only when it detects the presence of people and not other movements.

Its 11,100 mAh internal battery offers a range of up to 55 days if used in PIR mode and 50 hours in continuous recording mode, making it one of the the hidden surveillance cameras for the home with greater autonomy without having to be connected to the electrical current.

It also includes a microphone with a range of up to five meters and all configuration is done through a remote control.

You will not be able to buy this camouflaged hidden camera anywhere other than Espiamos, because we are exclusive distributors for Spain of the Stealth Tronic brand.

Camera camouflaged in a plant

Surely no one is going to pay too much attention to aplastic plant, and precisely for this reason this hidden device is one of your best options if you want to know what is happening when you are not at home.

No one will be surprised to see a plant of this type in the living room, at the entrance or even in a bedroom, because they are widely used in decoration. What no one will suspect is that inside the plant there is a lens capable of capturing video at 1920 x 1080 p at 30 FPS with two recording modes, continuous mode and motion detection activation mode.

With a autonomy of up to four hours, with this camera you can take both videos and photos, and it also includes a spy microphone so you don't miss anything that happens in the stay.

Thanks to its app you can configure it in just a few minutes and access the recorded files and even view the images in real time. In addition, you can choose whether the recorded videos are stored only on the spy device (supports SD cards up to 64 GB) or also on your mobile, thus making sure you have a backup.

Camera hidden in a plant

Note: This surveillance camera is a custom product. If you want more information contact us.


Micro spy camera with PIR sensor

The micro spy camera with PIR sensor is so small that it is very easy to hide anywhere. It can be hidden in a pot, on a shelf among the books, and even in a doll.

All the configuration is done easily from its mobile app, allowing you to access and download all the videos and images captured on the mobile without having to manipulate the camera once. once it is already in the chosen location. In addition, since it has a WiFi connection you can see the images in real time.

The recorded data can be saved on a micro SD card of up to 512 GB, and to prevent it from wasting more battery and running out of memory quickly, you can configure it so that instead of continuous recording mode it makes use of its PIR sensor and only record when it detects that there are people in the room.

camera surveillance on pir sensor

Spy camera with WiFi hidden in weather station

We are all interested in knowing what the weather is going to be like, so weather stations are a fairly common element in homes, especially those of the most tech-savvy. Therefore, this spy camera is capable of going completely unnoticed.

Externally it is a weather station that works completely normally marking temperature, humidity, lunar phase, time, date and weather forecast, but inside the device hides a camera capable of capturing images in Full HD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080p.

It can be used to capture videos, photos and also as a voice recorder, and the best thing is that it does not require any kind of installation. Just put it on a shelf or other piece of furniture and it's ready to start doing its job.

All configuration is done easily throughof its app, and since it is a spy camera with WiFi you can see and listen from your mobile and in real time what is happening as long as you are within the range of the WiFi network.

With unlimited autonomy, you can use this spy device in continuous recording mode or configure it so that it only activates when it detects movement. In any case, the files will be saved on your memory card (micro SD supported up to 512 GB).

camera surveillance at weather station

15 Frequently Asked Questions about Hidden Home Surveillance Cameras

1. Is it legal to install hidden surveillance cameras in my own home?

The legality of installing hidden surveillance cameras in your own home varies by jurisdiction and local laws. In general, it is legal to record video in private spaces on your property, such as your home, as long as it does not violate other people's reasonable expectation of privacy. However, recording audio may be subject to stricter laws. It is essential to be informed about the specific recording laws in your country or state before installing any hidden cameras.

2. What does the law say about recording people without their consent in private spaces?

Most jurisdictions prohibit recording people without their knowledge or consent in spaces where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and locker rooms. This expectation applies to both video and audio recordings. If someone is recorded without their consent in a private space, this could be considered an invasion of privacy or even a crime, depending on the jurisdiction. It's critical to be aware of the specific laws in your area and obtain the proper consent before recording.

3. Can I install hidden cameras in children's rooms for their safety?

Installing cameras in children's rooms for the purpose of ensuring their safety is generally legal, as long as their privacy or the privacy of others is not violated. However, it is crucial to take into account the age and maturity of the child. As children get older, their need for privacy increases, and installing cameras in their rooms could be considered a violation of that privacy. In addition, it is essential to inform and obtain the consent of any other person who may be recorded by the camera, such as babysitters or friends of the children. In any case, it is advisable to consult local laws and consider the ethical implications before making a decision.

4. What legal consequences could I face if I record someone without their knowledge?

Recording someone without their knowledge or consent in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy can have serious legal consequences. Depending on the jurisdiction, this may be considered an invasion of privacy or even a criminal offence. Consequences can range from fines to prison time, depending on the seriousness of the act and the specific laws of the place. In addition, the person recorded may have the right to file a civil suit for damages.

5. Is it legal to install hidden cameras if I suspect burglary or illegal activity in my home?

Installing hidden cameras in your home for the purpose of detecting burglary or illegal activity is generally legal, as long as the cameras are located in areas where privacy is not expected, such as living rooms or kitchens. However, it is illegal to install cameras in private areas, such as bathrooms or bedrooms, without the knowledge and consent of those in those spaces. Although you may have legitimate security concerns, it is essential to balance those concerns with respect for the privacy of others.

6. What should I do if I find out that someone is recording me with a hidden camera in their house?

If you discover that someone is recording you without your consent, especially in a private place, you should take steps to protect your rights. First, document any evidence of the recording, such as photos from the hidden camera. Then consider reporting it to local authorities, as this could beuir a crime in many jurisdictions. It may also be helpful to consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options and determine if you have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the person responsible. It is crucial to act quickly and seek appropriate legal advice to ensure that your rights are respected.

7. Do hidden surveillance cameras have any indication or light that gives them away?

Hidden surveillance cameras are designed to be discreet and inconspicuous, which is why many of them do not have visible lights or obvious indicators during normal operation. However, some models may have tiny lights or indicators that light up when recording or under certain conditions, although these are usually very subtle. If you suspect a hidden camera exists somewhere, there are devices and techniques that can help you spot it, such as hidden camera detectors or using lights to identify lens reflections.

8. If someone previously informs me about the existence of hidden cameras, does it make it legal?

Merely reporting hidden cameras does not automatically make their use legal. However, informed consent can be a crucial factor in many settings. If you are informed and consent to being recorded, it is more likely to be legal. However, even with consent, there are areas, such as bathrooms or bedrooms, where recording may be illegal due to a reasonable expectation of privacy. It is always advisable to check your local privacy and recording laws to fully understand your rights and obligations.

9. Are there areas of the house where the installation of hidden cameras is more permissible?

In general, it is more permissible to install hidden cameras in common areas of the home, such as living rooms, kitchens, or hallways, where people do not have a reasonable expectation of complete privacy. Conversely, areas like bathrooms, bedrooms, or anywhere else where people can expect privacy are often protected from non-consensual recording. While the intent may be to protect property or ensure security, it is essential to respect laws and the privacy expectations of all home occupants and visitors.

10. What happens if a domestic worker discovers that it has been recorded without her consent?

If a domestic worker discovers that he has been recorded without her consent, she may have legal grounds to file a lawsuit for violation of her privacy, depending on local laws. In addition to the legal consequences, recording someone without their knowledge or consent can erode trust and damage the employment relationship. It is crucial to inform and obtain the consent of anyone who may be recorded in your home, especially if they are someone who regularly works on your property.

11. Is it legal to record the outside of my house, such as the garden or garage, with hidden cameras?

In general, recording outdoor areas of your property, such as the yard or garage, is generally more permissible than recording private indoor spaces, as the expectation of privacy is lower in open areas. However, it is important to ensure that cameras do not capture areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as neighbor's windows or public areas. It is always advisable to check your local laws and regulations related to recording and video surveillance to ensure that you are acting within the law.

12. Can I use hidden camera footage as evidence in court?

The admissibility of hidden camera recordings as evidence in a trial varies depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances under which the recording was obtained. If the recording was obtained illegally or without proper consent, it may not be admitted into evidence and could result in legal penalties for the recorder. However, if the recording complies with local laws and was obtained for a legitimate purpose, it may be usable in court. It is essential to consult with an attorney before attempting to use any recording as evidence.

13. How can I protect my privacy if I suspect there are hidden cameras in a home I'm visiting?

If you suspect there are hidden cameras in a home you are visiting, here are some steps you can take to protectr your privacy:

  • Perform a visual inspection of the room. Look for objects or devices that look out of place or contain small holes that could house a camera.
  • Listen carefully. Some cameras may emit a low level hum or click.
  • Turn off the lights and use a flashlight to look for reflections. Camera lenses can reflect light.
  • Consider getting a hidden camera detector. These devices can identify transmission sources or camera lenses.
  • If you feel your privacy has been violated, communicate your concerns to the owner or person responsible for the space. In more serious cases, consider reporting to the authorities.

14. Where can I report if I think I have been the victim of illegal recordings with hidden cameras?

If you believe you have been the victim of illegal hidden camera recordings, you should contact your local authorities, such as the appropriate police or law enforcement. They will be able to advise you on next steps and, if appropriate, initiate an investigation. Additionally, you may consider seeking legal advice to understand your rights and possible legal actions you can take.

15. Are there devices or techniques to detect hidden surveillance cameras in a room?

Yes, there are specific devices designed to detect hidden cameras. Here are some methods and devices you can use:

  • RF signal detector : This device detects radio frequencies that could be emitted by wireless cameras.
  • Lens detectors: These devices use a series of LED lights that reflect off the camera lens, revealing its location.
  • Smartphone Apps: There are apps available that claim to be able to detect hidden cameras, although their effectiveness may vary.
  • Visual inspection: As mentioned above, doing a close inspection of the environment can help you identify hidden cameras.