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

Access Control Records Maintenance Guide on Jan 16, 2019
Weeding out old entries, turning off unused credentials, and updating who carries which credentials is as important as to maintaining security as...
UK Fines Security Firms For Illegal Direct Marketing on Jan 16, 2019
Two UK security firms have paid over $200,000 in fines for illegally making hundreds of thousands of calls to people registered on a government...
Access Control Cabling Tutorial on Jan 15, 2019
Access Control is only as reliable as its cables. While this aspect lacks the sexiness of other components, it remains a vital part of every...
Avigilon Favorability Results 2019 on Jan 15, 2019
Since IPVM's 2017 Avigilon favorability results, the company was acquired by Motorola and has shifted from being an aggressive startup to a more...
Gorilla Technology AI Provider, Raises $15 Million, Profiled on Jan 15, 2019
Gorilla Technology is a Taiwanese video analytics manufacturer that recently announced a $15 million investment from SBI Group, saying this...
2019 IP Networking Book Released on Jan 14, 2019
The new IP Networking Book 2019 is a 285 page in-depth guide that teaches you how IT and telecom technologies impact modern security...
Arecont Costar Layoffs on Jan 14, 2019
Arecont Vision, a Costar Company, has laid off more than 10% of their workforce in a move the company described to IPVM as a result of "important...
The False SCMP Story on Hikvision NYC AI on Jan 14, 2019
In the past week, one of Asia's largest publications, the South China Morning Post (SCMP), posted an article about "Chinese [facial recognition]...
WDR Tutorial on Jan 11, 2019
Understanding wide dynamic range (WDR) is critical to capturing high quality images in demanding conditions. However, with no real standards, any...

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