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UTICA – State Senator Joseph Griffo on Thursday announced new legislation signed by the Governor this week that would protect a homeowner’s privacy by discouraging the unauthorized surveillance of someone’s backyard.

Senator Griffo voted earlier this year to approve this legislation, which now allows homeowners to bring a civil legal action against a neighbor for invasion of privacy if the neighbor secretly records what is going on in their backyard. Current law makes unlawful surveillance a punishable crime if the video recording occurs in a setting with a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” such as a bathroom or changing room, or if the perpetrator trespassed on someone’s property to record or install a camera.

With this new law, homeowners will now have greater legal options to hold someone accountable for invading their privacy, said Senator Griffo, R-Rome.

“Our home and our yard is supposed to be a sanctuary where we can relax and feel safe, so nobody should ever have to fear that they are being watched or recorded in their own backyard,” Senator Griffo said. “Yet all over the state, we hear stories of people who are secretly recording their neighbors to either harass them, intimidate, or to fulfill any other troubling motives. Now, with this law I was glad to support, homeowners will no longer be told there’s nothing they can do to stop someone from invading the privacy of their backyard.”

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