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Camera placement and potential liability
July 29, 2022
Camera placement and potential liability
          I have a couple cameras set up at a volunteer fire station.  This past week we had an incident with graffiti in town and it was captured on one of them.  A town board member is now questioning the legality of the town playground being in the background view of the camera that views the FD parking lot. 
          The other concern is if signs need to be posted about the video surveillance.  This is a small town.   Can I get your opinion to back me up when questioned about this.  I have stated that no signs are needed and that the camera is viewing our driveway and the playground is in the background and is also a public place so there is no concern.  Please correct me if I am off on this thinking. 
  Thank you
          I think you are correct; there is nothing wrong with the camera placement.  Both the fire department driveway and building and the playground are public places where no expectation of privacy exists. 
          I appreciate the concern of the board member.  No doubt he is sensitive to a potential hack of the camera permitting someone to view children playing at the playground.  While I see the concern it seems that the facts here support the camera rather than call for its removal or repositioning.  It wouldn’t be out of place to have cameras that were intended for the playground. 
          Signs serve no purpose in my opinion and I am not aware of laws requiring signage, though I suspect there are such laws [NYC has a signage law for bars and clubs].  Signs won’t mean much to the children.
          One compromise, if one is needed, is to use only local DVR with no remote access.  If that could be hacked I suspect it would require a lot more sophistication to merit the effort. 
          You didn’t indicate if you had a Commercial All in One or a Camera Agreement signed by the FD.  You should.  I you didn’t and think you’re just being a nice guy be mindful what place [first  or last] you may end up in. If that’s not clear enough, your good deed is not likely to go unpunished.  Get a contract signed.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301