A judge at UK ruled that an owner Ring Video Doorbell violated the privacy of their neighbor, in a legal case which could haver big implications for the way smart security cameras are designed and used.
The owner who installed the smart doorbell and another security camera, Jon Woodard from Oxfordshire, UK , faces a substantial fine after the judge upheld the claim by her neighbor, Dr Mary Fairhurst, that the doorbell's video and audio recording functions violated data laws and could contribute to the harassment (via BBC News ).
Wooda rd insisted that his home security system was intended for deter burglars and intruders. However, the judge noted that the defendant's Ring video doorbell captured footage of the house in Fairhurst and the surrounding area, and recorded the audio automatically - afunction which at the time could not be deactivated, before a firmware update 2020.
In her ruling, Judge Melissa Clarke said: "Personal data can be captured by people who do not even know the device is there, or that 'it records and processes audio and personal data. "
Justice Clarke ruled that theWoodard's claim of the Ring doorbell and the home security system violated both the UK Data Protection Act and UK GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Although the case may have broader implications for Home security device industry, that seems like an aberration.
Hannah Hart, privacy expert at security consultancy ProPrivacy, told TechRadar: " Defendant had excess Cameras well placed throughout his property including the garden, shed and even on his neighbor 's wall.This is extensive surveillance that far exceeds what is needed for monitor a property and question the intention of thedefendant.
"Another of the main supporters which resulted in the £ 100,000 fine relates to the audio recording capabilities of the Ring Doorbell.
" The Ring Doorbells are able to listen in and record conversations taking place over 40 feet away. These audio recordings, combined with CCTV footage, reveal how the defendant effectively created a surveillance zone within his own community, where the privacy of his neighbors was eradicated and deliberately violated as part of the struggle. against local crime.
"Actions that current Ring users must take following this case include adjusting doorbell settings and activating ' Privacy zone option, which c a blocking of areas deemed prohibited. It is also possible to set the audio toggle of the doorbell to prevent it from recording conversations.
"Another good meThe way to avoid being sued by your neighbors is to be honest about the amount of cameras used, and ultimately respect their privacy wishes if this were to be raised as an issue. "
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