The New Texas Law That Locks Up Teens

There’s a new law that could land teens in prison. It’s a generation like none before. One full of internet feuds, constant social buzz, outcries on the latest controversy and viral YouTube videos that trend on Twitter to circulate endlessly. Like it or not, social media has become a staple in modern American entertainment and for most teens, a way to connect and inform others on the more trivial aspects of life. But thanks to a new law, a seemingly innocent post could land one behind bars. 


It’s called the Invasive Visual Recording law and despite its lack of coverage, it has taken down many unsuspecting perpetrators. “The Invasive Visual Recording crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you take, or help spread, any kind of photograph or video of (1) someone’s “intimate areas,” Saputo.Law reports, “or (2) someone in a bathroom or changing room.”


That seems like a fair stance; a mere precaution to protect somebody from pervs who may wish to snap a quick photo, but the lines are blurrier than one might think. For example, a selfie in the changing room, a vlog on the beach or a video in the bathroom can all land someone in jail if there was a person in said video/photo who feels their physical privacy was violated and exploited. And perhaps rightfully so, as it should be reminded that people in public areas are still owed their privacy and should not be regarded as a mere prop for a “funny” video.


On the other hand, the bill does help halt the efforts of malicious creeps. In East Texas, a teacher was charged and arrested with Invasive Visual Recording after placing a camera in the locker room. A Radiologic Tech was suspended from the Medical Board for the same law after recording patients without their consent. These cases are sadly all too common, even with the IVR law. But law enforcement hopes it will sway potential peeping-toms from acting.


Like most laws, the Invasive Recording Act isn’t perfect and is not without its complicated flipsides. Likewise, social media also shouldn’t be labeled as all-bad and intrusive, for it too has many positive attributes (such as connecting people from all around the globe). Privacy is valued among all people, but as an engineer and author Andy Grove explains in the following quote, “Privacy is one of the biggest problems in this new electronic age.”