A new bill introduced before the New Jersey General Assembly this week would make it illegal to record a conversation or meeting without the consent of all involved parties.
The measure, A-4373, is sponsored by District 26 Asw. BettyLou DeCroce of Parsippany would amend the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act statute. Presently the law requires the approval of only one of the parties to record a communication.
“This legislation tightens up a law passed in 1968 that could not foresee the rapid expansion of recording technology that can be used to harm a person’s character,” said DeCroce, who represents parts of Morris, Essex and Passaic counties. “The proliferation of iPhones, YouTube, email and the Internet have drastically changed the landscape of communications."
The assemblywoman said her primary concern was to protect ordinary citizens.
“Private citizens involved in a conversation or meeting should all be made aware and consent to its taping," she explained. "Too often, these recordings are made by people who use them to disparage a person’s reputation or publicly embarrass them. When a recording goes viral, the damage is done and it is extremely difficult to restore a reputation that is tarnished."
DeCroce said that if her bill passes, those who make "surreptitious tapings" of private citizens would be subject to civil and criminal charges.