Security Dealer & Integrator

OCT 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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22 Security Dealer & Integrator / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com October 2018 T he following story is based on real events, and it resulted in a real lawsuit. e names have been changed to protect their anonymity. John and Susie, a young married couple, were excited for vacation. ey rented a summer house near the beach. ey unpacked, changed into swimsuits, and delighted in the great deal they got for this rental. ey spent the day at the house, the beach and then settled into bed. e next day, while Susie was get- ting dressed, her arm inadvertently brushed up against a fern in the master bedroom. She thought noth- ing of it at first, but then noticed something hidden behind the fern. It was a camera. A surveillance cam- era – pointed right at the bed! Susie's mind raced. She wondered whether the camera was connected and to what or whom. She retraced her and John's activities in that bed- room. Talking, changing clothes, showering...other things that mar- ried couples do. Her heart sank. Indeed, the camera was con- nected and viewable by the owner – whose primary residence was sev- eral states away. What did he see? Was he merely trying to monitor his rental property? Did he intention- ally obscure the camera behind the fern? Was this malicious? John and Susie sued the home- owner for invasion of privacy (among other claims). In particular, they asserted that the homeowner recorded and/or live streamed video from the master bedroom of the rental home for his own nefari- ous purposes. When is it Illegal to Monitor? e law granted that homeowner every right to monitor his rental property. He had the right to use cameras; how- ever, he did not have the right to place a camera in an area where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy – especially hidden in a fern. It is illegal to record or surveil someone with malicious intent or for the purposes of blackmail. It is also illegal to take video surveillance of someone in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. ese places include bedrooms, bath- rooms, dressing rooms, changing rooms and showers. In contrast, indi- viduals in public places ordinarily pos- sess no reasonable expectation of pri- vacy and, therefore, can be recorded. In a world of wireless devices and self-installations, the placement of equipment is increasingly in the con- trol of customers. Sometimes the cus- tomer chooses the location of cameras; other times, the customer specifically directs a professional installer or inte- grator to place it in a specific location. Sometimes a wireless camera is moved by the customer aer the professional installer has le the facility. As John and Susie learned, this is an area ripe for abuse. Security companies should not enable their customers to violate the privacy rights of others; instead, they should adopt a series of policies and practices with respect to the installation and use of security cameras. 7 Ways to Protect Your Company e balance between security and pri- vacy will always be a challenge for both end-users and security integrators. As technology evolves, this challenge is likely to increase. Here are seven gen- eral recommendations to avoid liabil- ity as the security integrator: 1 Every security company should have a written contract which specifies, among other things, that Beware of the Hidden Camera When it comes to video surveillance, privacy should be a major concern for integrators as well as their customers Legal Brief BY TIMOTHY J. PASTORE, ESQ. Sometimes the customer chooses the location of cameras; other times, the customer specifically directs a professional installer or integrator to place it in a specific location. Sometimes a wireless camera is moved by the customer after the professional installer has left the facility. This is an area ripe for abuse ."

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