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Legal Information: Maryland

Statutes: Maryland

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November 27, 2023

§ 3-901. Visual surveillance


(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) “Private place” means a dressing room or rest room in a retail store.

(3) “Visual surveillance” means surveillance by:

(i) direct sight;

(ii) the use of mirrors;

(iii) the use of cameras; or

(iv) the use of an electronic device that can be used surreptitiously to observe an individual.

Scope of section

(b) This section does not apply to any otherwise lawful surveillance conducted by a law enforcement officer while performing official duties.


(c) A person may not conduct or procure another to conduct visual surveillance of an individual in a private place without the consent of that individual.


(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 30 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.

Prohibited defense

(e) It is not a defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant owns the premises where the private place is located.

Civil action

(f)(1) An individual who was under visual surveillance in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who conducted or procured a person to conduct the visual surveillance.

(2) In an action under this subsection, the court may award actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.