Is Recording Without Consent Legal?

Girlfriend videotapes abuse – threatens blackmail if I don’t stay in-line. Is recording without consent legal in PA?

Question:  I have been in a relationship with someone for a year and a half. We recently broke up but still live together. Over the relationship we have fought constantly and at times it has gotten to physical. After a recent fight, it came to light that she has recorded fights and arguments through her laptop and has videos of the fighting verbally and physically. Now she is threatening to send the videos out to my work, friends and family, post online to “throw me to the wolves” as it has been said. If I do not do certain things or what she says she threatens to release the videos and get people after me. Is there anything legally that I can do about this?

Answer:  Next time she threatens to publish the videos, you might want to inform her of Pennsylvania’s wiretapping law. Pennsylvania’s wiretapping law is a “two-party” consent law. Pennsylvania makes it a crime to record a conversation unless all parties to the conversation consent. It is both a criminal and civil cause of action in Pennsylvania to audio-record someone without their consent. That being said, you are admitting that you are abusive, which is unacceptable. You should remove yourself from the house and seek counseling.


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