Is it legal in United States to record your computer screen while you do work on a computer if you're the only person recorded and you're alone?

  • 3
    The trouble with your question is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to say that no such law exists anywhere. If there is some valid reason to believe it might be restricted you may get a better response if you can articulate why. Mar 25 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


There is no general legal prohibition on recording everything on your computer screen while working. There may be specific circumstances when it is illegal, such as:

  • You are in a national security job or otherwise have legally confidential material that appears on your screen for which you are granted only temporary access while you are working on it.

  • Your employer has a non-disclosure agreement that prohibits this conduct.

  • You share copyrighted or confidential material that you record with someone not entitled to see it.

A more rich factual context would be necessary to determine if this was illegal in a particular situation. It is often legal to do, but not always.

Conversely, there are some circumstances (e.g. bank tellers, some securities trading professionals, some national security work, and cashiers) where employees are required by their employer to record everything that they do on their computer.

  • aaaand there are cases where the mere existence of such a recording could be problematic, e.g. Lawyers.
    – Trish
    Mar 25 at 23:11
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    @Trish A recording of a lawyer writing an appellate brief would really be no more troubling than saving a copy of the brief on their hard drive, which is done all the time, as long as the recording isn't shared. For example, someone might do that to study how to improve the lawyer's posture and typing, or to corroborate time entries (e.g. with an in house admin person using the recording to do time entries for the lawyer so that the lawyer could focus on billable work instead of time entries). In some circumstances, it would be a problem, but it wouldn't be banned per se, even for lawyers.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 25 at 23:17
  • it's the moment they are in a video conference with their client it gets a problem due to privilege. I didn't said it was illegal, just that the existance could be problematic.
    – Trish
    Mar 26 at 0:12
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    @Trish The premise of this question is that you are the only person recorded. Even in a video conference, however, recording in lieu of taking notes is probably harmless as long as the recording is kept in house. The release of the video would be problematic. The taking of it, not so much.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 26 at 0:15

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