You can read all of our articles on our website. Having trouble getting our emails?   Change your spam controls and white list 

Comment on cameras and privacy / Comment on Biometrics / central station webinar series starting soon

June 26 2020
Advanced notice:
Central Station* 2020 webinar series starts July 13, 2020.  K&K will be hosting webinars by central stations, one at a time, who will address "why you should be using our central station".  Each webinar will be approximately 20 minutes and then Q&A opportunity.  See what your central station has to offer or what others offer, enabling you to choose the right central station for you.  
You should be using a central station listed on The Alarm Exchange to be assured of quality and more importantly, accountability
  *  only central stations on The Alarm Exchange will be invited to participate
Comment on cameras and privacy
            Regarding questions of privacy and video cameras, I think there may be more to think about, especially when asked to install in a residence.  In the example cited where a woman wants to learn what her husband may be doing and wants to conceal a camera in the bedroom, I see issues of concern.  You know that I am not an attorney, but having owned a large integrator company as well as being a camera manufacturer,(Sperry West) I have been asked many questions about this subject.  What if the woman making that request does not own the house, or is not listed on a lease?  In that case, I do not believe that she has a right to cause a camera to be installed anywhere in or outside of the residence.  Does the husband have an expectation and perhaps a right to privacy in (their) bedroom?  Even if he is violating marriage vows and being very callous by bringing another person (male, female or whatever) into the bedroom that he shares with his wife?  I think so, as does his wife.
            I remember a call from a woman asking what we make that she might use to hide a camera in her daughter’s bedroom.  She told me that she fears that her daughter is using drugs and wants to learn the truth.  I felt badly for the woman, but explained to her that her daughter has an expectation of privacy once she closes the door to her bedroom.  The other side to this issue is that once I knew her intent, even though we do not install cameras, if I would have recommended a particular camera, or helped in any way, I might be aiding and abetting (whatever abetting means!) her in committing an illegal act. 
            The expectation of privacy also is a factor with commercial installations of cameras.  It is not only the bathrooms & locker rooms that people may have a right to privacy, but private offices as well.  If someone who occupies an office closes the door, do they have a right to expect privacy even if they do not own the company?  I think they do.  But if someone is often stealing from that office, and the person occupying the office gives permission (ideally in writing), there is no reason not to install a hidden camera.  Does the thief have a right to privacy if they close the door to that office?  I think not.  Of course all of these examples involve the use of covert cameras.
Barry Levine
Sperry West
            Commercial settings are easy to deal with.  Every employment agreement and every company handbook can include consent to cameras and audio interception and recording.  The Standard Form AgreementsEmployment Contract and the Handbook cover this.  But this covers only the consenting employee, not a visitor or someone else lawfully on the property, like cleaning personnel.  But these latter personnel have no right to privacy.  I'm not so sure the employee has a right of privacy outside of the bathroom and dressing room.  
            I don't think the alarm industry, camera industry, is in any different position than many others who deal with the public and offer product and services.  Car manufacturers are not responsible if someone uses a vehicle as a deadly weapon.  Gun manufacturers are not liable if someone uses a gun illegally.  Is a locksmith manufacturer required to sell lock-picks to only licensed locksmiths [actually I don't know- are they?].  A hammer can be a deadly weapon but no one would think the manufacturer liable for misuse of that product.
            Cameras and other surveillance products have their place for proper use.  Unless the use is beyond question unlawful the security dealer can install the product.  The Residential All in One and the Commercial All in One, both of which cover camera installations, puts the onus on lawful use on the end users.  
            I am confident that my analysis is accurate under the present law.  Could it change?  Yes, and if and when it does the Standard Form Agreements will be updated.  As of now, you don't have to be police, you don't have to be moral compass or champion of privacy rights.  Install your product.
            What about data viewing and storage?  Now you may end up being complicit.  If you have viewing obligations then you may have responsibility to report illegal activity.  I would counsel you to be very careful with this aspect of security services.  For example, the camera in the child's bedroom.  The central station is monitoring video; if only storing video the exposure is reduced or eliminated.  Something clearly illegal takes place in the room.  If the video is being monitored there would be responsibility to report the crime.  If only storage is involved then expect to have a responsibility to preserve the data.  If used for any legal proceeding expect to be subpoenaed to testify to the authenticity of the data.
Comment on Biometrics from June 20, 2020
            Re your comment:  "Technology sold and installed by the alarm industry includes biometric technology.  Thermal cameras may be included [I don’t know- just a guess]."
            Yes, the temperature systems being sold today generally also record the results associated with a face and the option to linking it to individual people / users. Indeed, most of the tablet/kiosk systems being sold now market the ability to do temperature detection simultaneously with facial recognition (i.e., a biometric, the system detects it is Ken and then adds a record showing Ken's detected temperature at that moment).
            Btw, we are the world's leader in testing such equipment, see our directory of 800+ tests
            Thanks for the input.

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreementsclick here:
You can check out the program and sign up here: or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.
NOTICE:  You can always read our Articles on our website at
THE ALARM EXCHANGEalarm classifieds alarm security contracts

    This area is reserved for alarm classifieds, alarm company announcements, solicitations, offers, etc. 
    There is no charge to post a listing here.Include your contact information, phone, email and web site.  If you would like to submit a post, please send an email to  To create a reciprocal link to our website, click here.

Getting on our Email List / Email Articles archived: 
    Many of you are forwarding these emails to friends or asking that others be added to the list.  Sign up for our daily newsletter here: Sign Up.  You can read articles and order alarm contracts on our web site
Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301