Chicago, IL—Illinois has had a criminal law on the books for many decades that bars the recording of any conversation public or private unless all parties to the conversation give their consent.
The statute itself has never been changed, despite the reality that the law was all but gutted in a 1990 decision by the Illinois Appellate Court in, Illinois vs. Jansen. Jansen is still the law of Illinois today.
The current state of affairs is that most people are unaware of their rights under Jansen. The court ruled that the use of a recorder is merely enhanced note taking when the recorder, is not a government agent.
That means that any and all video or audio recording accomplished in a public place within your earshot by private citizens is legal. That also means recording telephone conversations is also legal as long as they are conversations you’re participating in.
Since 1990 at least in Illinois you should smile, because you could be on Candid Camera!
This does not cover potential civil remedies that may exist should the recording be used in a way intended to cause harm or unnecessary embarrassment. Civil remedies are generally not available for people recorded making threats, harassing or engaging in fraudulent or other criminal activities. You may have a rather nasty civil problem when you sell that sex tape you avoided telling your girlfriend you shot on the sly.
Audio and video recordings take the guess work accuracy of testimony taken in courts. Should a witness testify to something inconsistent to a video or audio recording efforts will be made to admit the recordings to impeach and expose the deception.
The difficult part of this ruling is that it does not cover police recording civilians! Cops can be still be charged if they are doing it in their official capacity.
Ill Recording Law People vs. Jansen 561_N_E_2d_312-1