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Ring's 2 way audio recording / false alarm fines and central stations
December 28, 2017
Ring's 2 way audio recording
    I am in CA and installed a Ring Doorbell on the exterior of a residential unit. I noticed that the default setting records video and audio when motion is detected. I do not see an option to remove audio recording portion and I believe CA uses two party consent for recorded audio.
Is there a sign that I can put up that would be the equivalent of a third party consenting by entering the property? It could record both a private yard but also possibly a public sidewalk/street if that makes a difference.
    Is the home owner liable or the manufacturer if there was a lawsuit?  If the manufacturer records audio even temporarily in order to relay the communication when someone uses the doorbell could that be a problem as well?
Best Regards,
    Seems like the Ring products are popular.  I am going to try a few products in my house.  Professional alarm dealers should be embracing these intended DIY products, selling them with the professional systems, or stand alone if necessary.  
    You have no liability in regard to the audio recording.  You are not doing the recording and you will certainly not the one to abuse that recording.  Signs are meaningless; don't bother.             While recording or intercepting audio is not permitted without consent there still needs to be some level of expectation of privacy.  An intruder has no expectation; at least that's my take on the subject.  As I write this however I am considering an analagous scenario.  Even an intruder can't be mistreated in certain respects.  You can't trap them; torture them; execute them.  Can you violate their rights by capturing their image on video and record audio?  What can you do with that audio and video data without risking liability for violation of civil rights or privacy rights?
    Clearly even an intruder has some rights, especially in California, where he or she may have more rights and definitely more attorneys ready to take up their cause, than the property owner and the alarm dealer.  So you probably can't use the data for your commercial gain or profit.          But for securing your property, I think it's a go.
false alarm fines and central stations
    I don't know if you remember or not but I recently posted my opinion about Central Stations being the way to control the false alarm problem. They are in the perfect position to control each aspect of the alarm reporting process. 
    If municipalities would fine Central stations for false alarms, they pass on the assessment to the Alarm company who in turn passes it on to the end user. If the end user fails to pay the alarm company, they are dropped. If the alarm company fails to pay the central station, their accounts are not monitored. In the meantime, at the other end of the process, the central stations will develop a protocol for recording, reporting and filtering alarms signals that will substantially reduce the number of false dispatches sent to authorities. 
Reliable Alarm
    I disagree.  Property owners or the end users should be fined, assuming you accept the purpose and utility of fines.  My problem is the definition of a false alarm.  There is a salon in the next building.  The hair spray keeps setting off the building fire alarm and the fire department shows up every time with several trucks.  The AHJ requires the smoke detectors.         Why is that a false alarm?  
     If the AHJ required a heat detector to be set at 72 degrees, who is at fault when the alarm goes off?   I think the AHJ, and I don't think it's a false alarm.  It detected as designed.
    Fines against property owners would be the best way to collect the fines.  

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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
516 747 6700