Albany, NY - August 1, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a bill closing a loophole in the penal law to ensure that people who have had their image broadcasted without their consent will have a course of action under the law. This expansion ensures that police officers will be able to bring charges in cases where a person's privacy had been more broadly invaded and their image broadcasted without their permission.
"No one should be humiliated by having their image broadcast without their consent - and this common-sense legislation ensures that any victim of such an act will have the law on their side,” Governor Cuomo said. “I commend Senator Carlucci and Assembly Member Paulin, as well as the Clarkstown Police Department, for their collective work to right this wrong and ensure that New Yorkers are protected from this potential abuse.”
Individuals will now be charged with unlawful surveillance in the second degree if they use a device to view, broadcast or record another person engaged in sexual conduct without their consent, regardless of whether that other person's sexual parts were broadcast or not. Prior to this amendment, charges could only be brought against an individual if sexual parts were shown in the picture.
The loophole was first discovered by officers of the Clarkstown Police Department, who were subsequently unable to pursue action to protect an alleged victim under these circumstances. The law will take effect November 1.
This law passed both houses of the legislature as S1982C and A2053C, respectively.
Senator David Carlucci, sponsor of the bill, said, "The Internet should not be a tool to humiliate or exploit others. With the rapid advancement of new technology, we need a 21st Century approach to our outdated surveillance laws. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing our unlawful surveillance bill into law today. This new law will deter individuals from using the Internet as a vehicle to humiliate or exploit others.”
Assembly Member Amy Paulin, sponsor of the bill, said, "A person's right to privacy is paramount. If a person is involved in a private moment or situation, he or she has the right to expect that that moment will remain private and not be broadcast over the Internet or via any other medium."
Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan said, "I would like to once again commend Senator Carlucci and Assembly Member Paulin for taking up this cause and getting this legislation passed. I also want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation into a law that will go a long way in protecting not only the people of Clarkstown, but all New Yorkers.