What Duties Do Guards Have Watching CCTV?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jan 21, 2011

A woman fell into a mall fountain while security guards sat and laughed. Not only did they fail to respond, they posted a video online showing the fall and sharing their happiness. Here's the original video:

Clearly, the guards are wrong to disclose security evidence. Indeed, the guard service company has fired the guard who shared the video. Regardless of what else happens, this is a black eye for US Security Associates, a large organization reporting over 30,000 employees.

Beyond this, the woman is considering suing the mall. As ABC news reports:

"She has hired a lawyer to explore whether someone should have come to her aid rather than posting her image on the Internet."

Guards have standard operating procedures. Patrons have an established expectation that security forces will aid them (or request aid from the authorities) if they detect problems. In this case, it appears that not only did the security organization not provide aid, they laughed at the patron's plight.

This raises another question: Is the guard service or mall liable for defaming the woman's character? On the one hand, the guards (or people providing the voiceover) does not make any explicit claims or accusations against the woman. On the other, this data/evidence is expected to remain private.

However, the US (unlike the EU) has very lax privacy laws especially when it comes to surveillance. Secondly, it's not clear to me that the guards even saw this live. Chances are they did not as malls generally have lots of cameras and the statistical likelihood that they were watching this in real time was low (although they might have been alerted within minutes by people in the area).

1 report cite this report:

Stopping Surveillance 'Videojacking' on Feb 16, 2011
A rising fear among security professionals is that surveillance video can be 'hijacked' and put on the Internet, resulting in embarassment or worse...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon New COO James Henderson Profile on May 23, 2017
It has been nearly 2 years since the infamous Bryan Schmode 'resigned' as Avigilon COO. Now, Avigilon once again has a COO, promoting James...
Aura's 'Invisible Ripple' Next Gen Intrusion Detection Tested on May 22, 2017
Aura Home is a startup intrusion detection system, but it claims new, high-tech sensing that monitors the 'invisible ripples' movement creates,...
Pelco Shutting Down Clovis Line, Laying Off 200 on May 22, 2017
Pelco's Clovis facility once turned out some of the industry's most popular products. Now, the facility is mostly building "obsolete" equipment,...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
Remote Video Monitoring Providers Directory on May 19, 2017
Remote video monitoring can help integrators generate RMR plus end users lower their security costs and/or improve response to critical...
Axis Criticizes OEMs: "When You Buy An Axis Camera, An Axis Camera Is What You Get!" on May 19, 2017
When you buy a Honeywell camera, you likely get a Hikvision, Dahua or some other company's product. The same goes for easily 100 different...
Hackable 125kHz Access Control Migration Guide on May 19, 2017
Despite being one of the most popular credentials, 125 kHz credentials are easily copied and insecure as we showed in our test results, video...
Forget The Backdoor, "ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS" On Sale on May 18, 2017
Less than 2 weeks after the Hikvision Backdoor was confirmed, Hikvision has launched a sale "ON ALL HIKVISION PRODUCTS". In this note, we examine...
Amazon Techs Installing IP Cameras Tested on May 18, 2017
In 2015, Amazon started offering video surveillance installation. Now, Amazon has made it a lot easier, with automatic add-on options and...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact