Know Your Photo And Video Rights In Iowa

During this critical time of citizen journalism, #Trumpresistance, and getting elected officials on record, it is imperative to know your photo and video rights in Iowa. Check out this info from ACLU-Iowa

  • You have the right to photograph or video anything that is in plain view when you are lawfully in a public space. This includes state and federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police/government officials carrying out official duties.
  • Police officers cannot search or seize your phone without a warrant. They also need a warrant to view your digital photos or videos. However, if you hand your phone over willingly, a court would likely determine that you’ve given consent to a search.
  • Police may not delete your photos or videos, or demand that you delete them under any circumstances.
  • Police may order you to stop photographing or recording if you are truly interfering with law enforcement activity. Officers are subject to public scrutiny when carrying out their official duties, but your recording should not physically interfere with the officer’s actions.
  • On private property, you may photograph or record on private property only if you have the consent of the owner.
  • Always use your best judgment and caution. Remember the street is not the place to challenge the constitutionality of an officer’s behavior.
  • Special Note: Visual photographs are fully protected under the law. However, audio recordings are different. Some states have tried to regulate audio under state wiretapping laws. In Iowa, you can record oral communications with the consent of just one party, meaning if you’re interacting with the police and you record it, you should be ok. However, when you are a bystander, the situation depends on whether there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the communication between the parties. The ACLU believes that officers have no reasonable expectation of privacy when carrying out official, public duties in public places.

Watch the video below for more info. Click on the link for more info from ACLU-Iowa.

Do you believe that your right to photograph or video in public has been violated? Contact us at    For more information on your rights when interacting with police in Iowa, click here.


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1 Response to Know Your Photo And Video Rights In Iowa

  1. Hugo S LaVia says:

    When Obama spoke in downtown DSM a couple days before the 2008 election, I was “required” to show the SS what I had video taped. Of course, I look so suspicious: short, fat, bald white guy …


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