Smart home technology is the latest craze for big tech companies and telecom companies that launch products that allow people to remotely control devices such as lights and locks through mobile devices and watch videos from security cameras. Apple (AAPL)
Became the latest company to participate in the bill earlier this month, launching a new software platform called HomeKit that allows people to manage their connected devices with an ipad or iphone.
Like at & t this of the companyT), Verizon (VZ)
Time Warner Cable TV (TWC)
Smart home systems have been launched. Google (GOOGL)
Meanwhile, Nest Labs, the connected device maker, was acquired earlier this year, and it is reported that the company is also considering buying Dropcam, a security camera maker.
However, smart home customers may not know that their security video is stored in some cases and can be used against them in legal proceedings.
Related content: Apple's home kit is safer but will not be hacked
Jay Stanley said the evidence "we see law enforcement in various fields thinking that they should be able to access information at a lower standard than before the electronic age," senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union.
"If a lot of information flows out of your home, it will provide a window for what you do in private space," he added . ".
Every year, tech companies have received thousands of requests from government intelligence agencies and traditional law enforcement departments for customer data such as e-mail and telephone records.
Once the home security video starts to be stored on the company's servers, there is no reason for the police not to look for it.
This means that you may want to look at the terms of service of smart home providers and see what kind of requirements they make for government and law enforcement data requests.
There are usually two ways for the government or police to obtain smart home data: a search warrant and a subpoena.
When the prosecutor indicates that there is a "possible reason" to believe that the particular evidence they are looking for may be related to criminal activity, the judge will authorize the warrant.
The standard for subpoenas is much lower, and usually only the information sought is required to be relevant to the investigation.
Some subpoenas require notification of the subject of the request for information and have the opportunity to challenge it, although some have not.
Related reports: CNNMoney's cyber security magazine AT&T spokesman, Greg Schulz, said that if law enforcement officers were looking for smart home footage in criminal investigations, the company asked them to provide a search warrant before the video was released.
She added that if the request was made in the form of a civil summons, AT&T would need the consent of the client in question.
Footage is stored only when the customer sets up the system and can be permanently deleted at any time.
Time Warner Cable said it needed a subpoena before releasing pictures or video clips of the smart home system to law enforcement.
Dropcam declined to comment on how to handle government video requests, although it said the video was only stored for up to 30 days.
Apple declined to comment, and Verizon did not respond to requests for comment.
"People should ask what measures companies are taking to encrypt and make sure their information is private," said Hanni faakhoury, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation . ".
"Consumers should really look for companies that say they will only hand over footage under a search warrant.
"In civil cases, it is also possible for the plaintiff to look for smart home lenses.
Location data from charging tags such as email
For example, ZPass has been used in divorce proceedings before.
"Whenever there is a data thread coming up, the litigation parties in civil or criminal proceedings will want to get it," said faakhoury . ".