2021 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 11 - Offenses Against Public Order and Safety
Article 3 - Invasions of Privacy
Part 1 - Wiretapping, Eavesdropping, Surveillance, and Related Offenses
§ 16-11-62. Eavesdropping, Surveillance, or Intercepting Communication Which Invades Privacy of Another; Divulging Private Message

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-11-62 (2021)

It shall be unlawful for:

  1. Any person in a clandestine manner intentionally to overhear, transmit, or record or attempt to overhear, transmit, or record the private conversation of another which shall originate in any private place;
  2. Any person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful:
    1. To use any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons incarcerated in any jail, correctional institution, or other facility in which persons who are charged with or who have been convicted of the commission of a crime are incarcerated, provided that such equipment shall not be used while the prisoner is discussing his or her case with his or her attorney;
    2. For an owner or occupier of real property to use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are on the property or an approach thereto in areas where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy;
    3. To use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are within the curtilage of the residence of the person using such device. A photograph, videotape, or record made in accordance with this subparagraph, or a copy thereof, may be disclosed by such resident to the district attorney or a law enforcement officer and shall be admissible in a judicial proceeding, without the consent of any person observed, photographed, or recorded; or
    4. For a law enforcement officer or his or her agent to use a device in the lawful performance of his or her official duties to observe, photograph, videotape, or record the activities of persons that occur in the presence of such officer or his or her agent;
  3. Any person to go on or about the premises of another or any private place, except as otherwise provided by law, for the purpose of invading the privacy of others by eavesdropping upon their conversations or secretly observing their activities;
  4. Any person intentionally and secretly to intercept by the use of any device, instrument, or apparatus the contents of a message sent by telephone, telegraph, letter, or by any other means of private communication;
  5. Any person to divulge to any unauthorized person or authority the content or substance of any private message intercepted lawfully in the manner provided for in Code Section 16-11-65;
  6. Any person to sell, give, or distribute, without legal authority, to any person or entity any photograph, videotape, or record, or copies thereof, of the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view without the consent of all persons observed; or
  7. Any person to commit any other acts of a nature similar to those set out in paragraphs (1) through (6) of this Code section which invade the privacy of another.

(Ga. L. 1967, p. 844, § 1; Code 1933, § 26-3001, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1100, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 16; Ga. L. 2000, p. 491, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 875, § 2; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1046, § 2/SB 94.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2000, a comma was deleted following "detection" in subparagraphs (2)(B) and (2)(C), respectively.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 875, § 3, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective July 1, 2000, and shall apply with respect to offenses committed on or after that effective date. This Act shall not affect or abate the status as a crime of any offense committed prior to that effective date, nor shall the prosecution of such crime be abated as a result of this Act."

Law reviews.

- For annual survey on domestic relations, see 65 Mercer L. Rev. 107 (2013). For article on domestic relations, see 66 Mercer L. Rev. 65 (2014). For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 79 (2015). For note on 2000 amendment of this Code section, see 17 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 102 (2000). For note, "Location, Location, Location: A 'Private' Place and Other Ailments of Georgia Surveillance Law Curable Through Alignment with the Federal System," see 46 Ga. L. Rev. 1089 (2012). For comment on Ellenberg v. Pinkerton's, Inc., 125 Ga. App. 648, 188 S.E.2d 911 (1972), holding employer defendant may not use independent contractor defense to invasion of privacy suit resulting from actions of investigator working in his behalf, see 9 Ga. St. B.J. 519 (1973). For comment on Mitchell v. State, 239 Ga. 3, 235 S.E.2d 509 (1977), see 29 Mercer L. Rev. 351 (1977). For comment, "Lawful or Unlawful: Tape-recording Phone Calls?," see 10 Ga. St. B.J. 44 (No. 4, 2004).



  • General Consideration
  • Waiver of Right to Privacy


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 12 Am. Jur. 2d, Breach of Peace and Disorderly Conduct, § 30.


- 86 C.J.S., Telecommunications, §§ 177, 195 et seq.


- Mode of establishing that information obtained by illegal wiretapping has not led to evidence introduced by prosecution, 28 A.L.R.2d 1055.

Validity, construction, and effect of state legislation making wiretapping a criminal offense, 74 A.L.R.2d 855.

What constitutes an "interception" of a telephone or similar communication forbidden by the Federal Communications Act (47 U.S.C. § 605) or similar state statutes, 9 A.L.R.3d 423.

Eavesdropping as violating right of privacy, 11 A.L.R.3d 1296.

Investigations and surveillance, shadowing and trailing, as violation of right of privacy, 13 A.L.R.3d 1025.

Observation through binoculars as constituting unreasonable search, 48 A.L.R.3d 1178, 59 A.L.R.5th 615.

Admissibility, in criminal prosecution, of evidence obtained by electronic surveillance of prisoner, 57 A.L.R.3d 172.

State or municipal liability for invasion of privacy, 87 A.L.R.3d 145.

Permissible surveillance, under state communications interception statute, by person other than state or local law enforcement officer or one acting in concert with officer, 24 A.L.R.4th 1208.

Construction and application of state statutes authorizing civil cause of action by person whose wire or oral communication is intercepted, disclosed, or used in violation of statutes, 33 A.L.R.4th 506.

"Caller ID" system, allowing telephone call recipient to ascertain number of telephone from which call originated, as violation of right to privacy, wiretapping statute, or similar protections, 9 A.L.R.5th 553.

Criminal prosecution of video or photographic voyeurism, 120 A.L.R.5th 337.

Applicability, in civil action, of provisions of Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, prohibiting interception of communications (18 USCS § 2511 (1)), to interception by spouse, or spouse's agent, of conversations of other spouse, 139 A.L.R. Fed 517.

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