Eavesdropping Revisited – No New Illinois Law Yet…

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Our firm has been tracking recent developments regarding eavesdropping laws in Illinois.  When the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the Illinois Eavesdropping Act as unconstitutional back in March, we indicated that there was a window of opportunity for those who want to electronically record communications to do so without fear of criminal prosecution.  Now that the Illinois state legislature has adjourned its 2014 Spring Session without enacting a replacement statute, that window has been extended to at least January 2015, when the next Spring Session begins.  However, those wishing to record private conversations without permission should take note:  Even without the statute, liability stemming from invasion of privacy claims, or copyright infringement could still pose a risk to those who record others without permission.  But for now, Illinois effectively has no statutory criminal prohibitions against eavesdropping. 

In our firm’s previous blog article, “Who’s Listening?  Illinois Eavesdropping Law Held Unconstitutional,” we summarized the Illinois Supreme Court’s decisions in two cases regarding the Eavesdropping Act.  In both cases, the Court held that individuals could not be criminally prosecuted under the Act because of the unconstitutional burden the Act placed on the individuals’ free speech rights.  We also detailed how this affects organizations that want to prohibit recording of communications and analyzed limitations on individuals wishing to record communications, including privacy interests, contractual obligations, and ethical responsibilities.

            To read our previous article, “Who’s Listening?  Illinois Eavesdropping Law Held Unconstitutional,” click here.