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What Is the Hawaii Invasion of Privacy Law?

In Hawaii, laws on the Invasion of Privacy are very strict and any kind of invasive act that violates the privacy of another is considered to be a criminal offense. Depending on the gravity of the offense, invasion of privacy could be either a violation of first degree or that of a second degree.

Violation of Privacy in the First Degree

As per Section 711-1110.9 of the Hawaii Statutes, a person is said to violate the privacy of another if they without any prior leave or legal authority to do so,

  • Intentionally installs and/or uses a device in a private place to observe, record, broadcast or amplify, another person in the nude or during sexual activities without the consent of the person entitled to privacy in that place.
  • Intentionally discloses or threatens to disclose videos or images of another person, taken without their consent, while they were disrobing or engaging in sexual activity, with the intention of defaming or blackmailing them.

However, if the person being recorded has given consent to be shot in nude or while conducting sexual activities, the recording will not be seen as a violation of privacy.

Invasion of Privacy Law Hawaii

Violation of Privacy in Hawaii is a Class C Felony. The person found guilty of a violation of privacy in the first degree shall be imprisoned for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years. They may also have to pay a fine up to $10,000, apart from which they will have to either destroy the recordings or surrender them to court to be sealed as confidential.

Violation of Privacy in the Second Degree

As per Section 711-1111 of the Hawaii Statutes, a person is said to violate the privacy of another if they without any prior leave or legal authority to do so,

  • Trespass a private establishment to eavesdrop or other such surveillance.
  • Spy at someone through a window or other such openings or peer at someone lewdly or for unlawful purposes, in establishments of rest where the person entitled to privacy doesn't expect to be observed.
  • Intentionally invades a private property for sexual gratification.
  • Makes use of a device in a private place to either record, observe, amplify or broadcast the sounds or events (other than disrobing and sexual activities) taking place within the property, without the consent of the concerned parties. This may include recording or taking pictures of a crime scene or hindering the work of law enforcement officers.
  • Making use of a device in public places to record, broadcast, amplify or observe any sounds or conversation which are otherwise not meant to be audible or comprehensible, without the consent of the concerned parties.
  • Secretly record or broadcast images of another person's intimate area underneath clothing, taken without their consent while they are out in public.
Hawaii Invasion of Privacy Law
  • Intercepts a telephonic message or photographic image sent electronically or through telegraph, or any other private mail, without the consent of concerned parties. However, this doesn't apply to interceptions by telephone companies, mail service providers and other such communication services providers or law enforcers. The paragrapher is also not applicable if the message is overheard via a regularly installed device on a telephone party line or an extension.
  • Knowingly share a message or photographic image acquired via telephone, e-mail, telegraph or other communication means, and has been intercepted illegally.
  • Knowingly possess illegal recordings or images of another person, which were recorded without their consent, and while they were in a state of disrobing or engaged in sexual activities.

Violation of privacy in the second degree is considered to be a Misdemeanor. The person found guilty shall be imprisoned for up to one year and may have to pay a fine of $2000. Apart from this, they will be required to destroy all the recordings.

Do note that the privacy laws do not apply to an electronic communication service providers or remote storage service provider, when the messages, photographs, electronic data or conversations are recorded, dissected, or disseminated as part of their usual business.

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