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Hidden cameras in residence
June 18 2020
Hidden cameras in residence
            A customer contacted us last week to install a camera system in the house. When I got there the customer requested an estimate to install a camera system to spy her husband.  She found him talking to a lady on the phone. Now she wants to install a camera at the master bedroom and another one in the master bedroom restroom.
            Per legal and privacy, where is our threshold?   This is legal?
            I don’t want to involve our company in a legal issue. Please advise.
            The Residential All in One, which is the proper contract for this transaction, puts the onus on the subscriber to use equipment and systems lawfully.  Unless there could be no reasonable purpose for an installation, one that would be clearly illegal or immoral, you can provide the requested system.  
            A homeowner could have any number of reasons to install cameras in what appears to be a prohibited area.   In fact, had you asked about a commercial installation my response would be different:  no bathrooms; no dressing area.  
            Privacy issues within a residence are more difficult to assess.  Certainly people are free to enjoy their own personal proclivities within their own home.  I suppose there may be some things so repugnant that you would not want to install a requested camera, but a bedroom and even a bathroom [depending where in the bathroom] would not be illegal, per se.  Again, if we were talking about a hotel room the answer would be different.  
            Your concern about being involved in legal issues is another matter.  Legal entanglements is part of doing business, especially the alarm and security business.  I am confident that your concern was criminal issues, but aside from that there are civil issues, and you may very well be involved.  For example, suppose the husband is caught on camera and a bitter divorce ensues.  You may be called to testify regarding the installation and reliability of the video.  Sure, this isn’t an everyday concern, but you did ask.  Maybe the husband discovers the cameras and decides to sue you for invasion of privacy.  Will you prevail?  I don’t know, did your [or you] employee divert the data to his own phone for his own viewing pleasure, as the ADT employee is accused of doing?  
            Do the job.  Use the Residential All in One.  Don’t offer video monitoring or data storage.  Keep it simple.

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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