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Signs for audio and video / Comment on wireless devices and liability / problems with wireless
October 3, 2019
Signs for audio and video
            We have signs that read:  "Warning, Area Subject to Audio and Video Recording" with our logo on the bottom.   We used the word "subject to" so that there was no guarantee of anything.  The signs are approximately 18" x 24".   Our primary client base is apartment communities/management companies.
            We have not installed any of the signs, as we have been unclear as to what kind of liability it brings to us,  and more importantly the client.  If it matters, these clients are usually not under any maintenance plan, monitoring agreement, etc.   We install the systems, and provide service on a break/fix basis.   However we are starting to offer health monitoring type plans to generate RMR.
            What kind of permission and waivers should we be getting before installing these signs?
            Video recording is permitted in common and public areas, but audio recording is not permitted without the consent of either one of the participants to the conversation or all of the participants to the conversation, depending where you are located.  Posted signs do not constitute consent, express or implied.  Your words “subject to” adds nothing, in my opinion.  However, the signs themselves do not violate any law.  Hopefully you are using the Commercial All in One which puts the onus of using audio and video equipment lawfully squarely on the subscriber, not you.  
Comment on wireless devices and liability from article on September 21, 2019 [and problems with wireless]
Ken ,
            Chris's email raises some interesting points.  The wireless alarm system that has its signal compromised by the customer because of their installation of foil wallpaper or a new refrigerator was a big problem a few years ago, but should not be as big a problem now.  State of the art wireless systems should send supervisory signals to the central station that a given sensor's supervisory signal has not been received. The alarm company will likely diagnose the problem and provide a solution.  Today, the technology has alarm companies install everything from thermostats to Alexa systems.  The bad actors out there are now able to penetrate the customer’s network and computer systems (residential and commercial) and raise havoc.  Supervised transmitters don't prevent this.  
            Wireless installers who do not install encrypted devices are begging for one of their customers to have a Breach and that is not covered by their Liability or E&O insurance.  
            Prudent alarm dealers are using encrypted equipment and purchasing a Cyber endorsement for their liability policy.  On top of that the alarm company should have his company certified that he is in compliance with all of the federal and state regulations, especially, the new California Privacy Act or he may be subject to punitive penalties in the event of a breach.  Target, Sony and many others have paid multi-million dollar fines for a breach. Similar Cyber failures by those in our industry could prove catastrophic.
            Ken, thank you for hosting this forum for the ready exchange of ideas as well as keeping the industry abreast of the complicated alarm industry legal arena.
Tony S
            Here’s concerns from a consumer, me.  I’ve got this very old Levitin system using remote devices for electric outlets and switches.  It’s so old you can’t get the remote devices.  Problem is it also won’t work with LED light bulbs, which I just installed throughout the house.  I’ve lost lights because I can’t find a switch to hard wire to the lights.  Pain in the butt.
            So talking to an electrician who was in the house we got to the topic of wireless devices.  He told me that a problem is that they won’t work if we lose electric or internet.  Big problem to most people, because loss of electric or internet happens.  Yes, I have a generator, but can’t replace the internet when it does down.  One of my clients has a solution, but it would cost less to move …. to a really expensive house. 

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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