Is It Legal to Record People at a Gym?
No Privacy in Public PlacesSince most gyms are accessible to the public, it is not a violation of privacy laws to record someone in a gym's common area. Typically the law does not prohibit watching or photographing activities that are outside a person's reasonable expectation of privacy. Taking a photo of someone on the elliptical, a reasonably public view, would likely be legal. A photo of them in the locker room ... not so much. And forget about the bathroom. Even if it's in a public area, attempting to get an upskirt or up-short photo in a gym could land you behind bars. (Although the law is still unclear on this in several states, don't be that person, even if it's legal.) As long as the subject is a clothed gymgoer in a common public area, however, the law provides little protection from secret Snapchats.
Gym Policies Come Into PlayState and federal laws are mostly silent on recording people at the gym. But each gym has its own policies regarding photography and video. Here are some recording policies at gyms that have locations nationwide:
- 24 Hour Fitness prohibits "photography, videotaping, filming or audio recording" of other gymgoers without their consent.
- Lifetime Fitness' general rules allow personal videos and photos on the premises without approval from Lifetime or its managers, but only in the "public" areas, meaning not in a locker room, steam room, massage room, etc. Like 24 Hour Fitness, Lifetime also bans photos or videos of other gymgoers without that person's express permission.
What to Do If Someone Records You at the GymIf you catch someone recording you with their smartphone (or vice versa), it will likely be up to the individual gym to deal with the problem, unless you are in an area like a locker room. Breaking these rules by, for example, filming someone on the treadmill, is likely considered a breach of the gym membership agreement. So the worst that could really happen is that the gym could cancel someone's membership and kick them out. Bottom line: Recording at the gym is weird, but may be legal in a public, clothed setting.
- Posting Nude Photos of Member of Congress Was Protected Speech, California Court Rules (FindLaw's Practice of Law)
- Court Says 'Upskirting' Is Legal in Georgia (FindLaw's Courtside)
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