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A judge ruled that security cameras and a ring doorbell installed in a house in Oxfordshire "unwarranted invasion "the privacy of a neighbor, in a case which could have implications forhome monitoring devices.
Dr Mary Fairhurst claimed that the devices installed in neighbor Jon Woodard's home violated data laws and contributed to harassment.
The judge upheld both of these allegations.
Mr. Woodard now faces a substantial fine.
He claimed to have installed the devices in good faith as a deterrent against burglars.
The origin of the dispute stems from An invitation from Mr Woodard to his neighbor, Dr Fairhurst, to visit his home under renovation, during which she claimed he had shown his new security system.
The judgment says Dr Fairhurst was "alarmed and dismayed " to find that he had a camera mounted on his hangar and that images of it were sent to his smartphone.
A series of disputes over the cameras ensued, which led to Dr Fairhurst leaving his home.
In the judgment, the Ring doorbell was found to have captured footage of the plaintiff's house and garden, while the shed camera covered almost all of his garden and parking space.
Judge Melissa Clarke has discovered that audio data collected by cameras in a hangar, in an aisle and on the Ring doorbell was being processed illegally. She noted that at the time it was not possible to turn off the function.audio recording - this happened during an update in 2020.
She said she found the audio data that could capture conversations " even more problematic and damaging than video data ".
" Personal data can be captured by people who do not even know that the device is there, or that it is recording and deals with audio and personal data, "she said in her judgment.
This, she said, was in violation of UK data laws - both UK data law data protection and UK GDPR.
Amazon, which made both the doorbell and the cameras, said customers should "respect the privacy of their neighbors and comply with all applicable laws when they use their Ring device. "
" We 'We have implemented features on all of our devices to guaranteeshooting that privacy, security and user control remain at the forefront - including customizable privacy zones to block 'out of bounds' areas, motion zones to control areas that users customers want their Ring device to detect motion, and Audio Toggle to turn sound on and off. "
But the judge added:" Even if an activation zone is disabled so the camera doesn't not activated for motion filming in this area, activation by motion in any of the other unactivated activation areas will cause the camera to film over the entire field of view. "
The Information Commissioner's office told Hfrance.fr: "A lot of people use home video surveillance and video doorbells. If you have one, you must respect your privacy rights people and t Take measures to minimize intrusion from neighbors and passants. "
But it added: " In most cases, there 's no problem. "
Hannah Hart, Digital Privacy Expert at ProPrivacy, said: "While this case does not set a legal precedent, it does continue an ongoing conversation about our changing attitude towards home surveillance - and how normal it has become in our communities.
"The fact remains that anyone with a Ring doorbell can their neighborhood area into a surveillance space due to its video recording functionality and audio processors capable of capturing the sound. its 40 meters away.
"This means that a small number of residents can effectively turn public spaces into hotspots, and even share their records with the police.