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Comment on Hidden cameras in residence  / ADT complains about Simplisafe ads

June 23 2020
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Title:  Understanding Risk Management Issues For Alarm / PERS Industry
When:  June 24, 2020  12 PM ET
Description:    Webinar will explain risk management issues for alarm and PERS industry.  Insurance issues such as type and amount of coverage, best practices, including contracts, common claims the industry faces and how they are assessed and handled.
Presented by:  Bart Didden, Chief Claims Administrator, Security America
Hosted by:  Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Who should attend:  owners, risk managers
Comment on Hidden cameras in residence from article on June 18 2020
            Regarding the article on June 18, 202 from MR (not me by the way) who asked if it would be OK install cameras for a wife to use to spy on her husband.  You gave a very well- grounded legal opinion based upon the facts.  
            As I was reading your answer I also received an email from the Frequent Traveler site warning people to be careful about cameras in Air BnB and similar types of rentals.   
            You also advised the questioner about the issues involved with getting dragged into a criminal or civil complaint.  If I were installing a camera in a residence (or any location where there could possibly be an expectation of privacy) I would consider not only the purported use of the camera but also any possible use (like a renter engaging in some steamy activity in the kitchen) that may get me into hot water.
Mitch Reitman 
Reitman Consulting Group
Fort Worth, TX

            Haven't we learned enough already with these indoor residential cameras? The liability is just too great for a company making a few bucks and leaving a lawsuit time bomb just waiting to go off at any time that could ultimately destroy a company.
            When I get calls for this I always tell them to go online and find what might work for them or look at Nest to get and install their own. I understand the All In One Contracts do offer good protections but, it won't prevent a lawsuit from being filed that a company must pay to defend, even when a customer asks for one to be installed. The cost of defending will far out-weigh the profit made from that camera installation sale.      
         There have been many posts here from companies in the past asking about these indoor cameras for spying that most likely will be abused or hacked into at some point. This leaves every installer and company open for expensive lawsuit trouble in the future. The FBI has even warned about the Smart TV's with cameras and microphones that are subject to hacking. Outdoor cameras are one thing,  but inside cameras are a bad idea. 
   Anonymous Alarm Guy
ADT complains about Simplisafe ads
            Better Business Bureau has a division called The National Advertising Division, NAD.  It’s a self-regulatory and dispute resolution program.  Apparently ADT and Simplisafe participate in the program because ADT filed a complaint challenging certain advertising claims promoted by Simplisafe.  ADT complained about monitoring claims and wireless range claims.  Reportedly Simplisafe agreed to discontinue claims regarding dispatch speed and calls to customers during an alarm event, that all options are available with all packages and that Simplisafe is the “best” in the industry.
            The “best’ in industry sounds like puffery to me, but when dealing with the “least sophisticated consumer” I suppose there can be a lot of confusion.
            Thanks to Gene from Reliable Alarm for pointing this out and to  Security Systems News for reporting it.

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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