Doing more research and I thought you might find this interesting. Seems that those in room snack bars are now being outfitted with sensors so as soon as you pick up a snack (or whatever) your room bill is instantly charged. More here http://consumerist.com/2008/01/28/sensor-detects-if-you-move-anything-on-minibar-charges-you/
Yes, I mentioned the hotel motion sensor minibars a couple of posts above. The use has to be disclosed, but so far attorneys have generally felt that’s an optional service (the snackbar) for information the hotel was going to get anyway when they took physical inventory.
But the same hotel rooms don’t have motion sensor logs of whether the guest is in bed or not.
i did some checking.
Audio recordings are legal in all states except California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington State. In these states you would need to disclose that you are audio recording. However, this is not at issue here
Video recordings are legal in all 50 states (except where there is a reasonable expectation of total privacy, for example a bathroom or locker room) As the property owner of the cabin you can have cameras record everything but the bath without disclosing to your guests.
There is no privacy expectation when using another persons property (that is guests at your cabin) that would prohibit logging entrance, exit or movement within the property. There are no laws covering motion sensors or any logs that they create. MONITOR AWAY, it is your cabin.
That is incorrect.
You cannot video bedrooms or baths of your guests or household employees such as nannies or live in housekeepers without consent. Not just baths.
More importantly, people paying you rent are NOT legally “guests” even if we often use that term. They are tenants or paying guests. They DO have an expectation of privacy in ALL exclusive interior areas for which they are paying rent. And this right does NOT depend on any particular state law, it’s a common law right applicable in all 50 states. The state laws define specific criminal offenses, but the renter can simply file a civil suit for violation of privacy and ask for damages.
There are landlords who have had to pay 6 or even 7 figure settlements for violation of privacy for undisclosed surveillance equipment.
I’m not aware of any cases yet that set a precedent on interior motion detector logs one way or the other under this federal right, which is what makes any result unpredictable.
Speak to a local attorney for best advice, and certainly don’t rely simply on Internet research. Just looking at a table of state laws on one particular aspect is not going to give you the advice you need regarding civil liability in your particular situation.
2Paddles and JDR, interesting discussion on the legality of monitoring. I tend to think that anything that is the equivalent of what a security system provides shouldn’t raise much ire with renters. But, some are more sensitive than others and I think disclosure is a good idea.
I was interested in the technical aspects of this project. When adding multiple locations to your ST account, do you automatically grant access across all locations? E.g. would a smartthings account for “My Home” and “Cabin1” give Cabin1 users access to my home? Would I have to set up separate logins for each location to keep them distinct? Or can I have them all on my account and separately add them to tablets at each location?
And, if I may, (and I think I already know the answer to this one) can certain elements of the ST system be excluded to certain users (e.g. could I limit the guest from controlling a lock to a supply cabinet or water main, but allow access to lights and thermostat)?
Anyone tried this? 2Paddles, what became of this project in the end?
You should check out SmartTiles.click. That app, which is marvelous, allows what you want to do. Each tablet would have limited access to the ST system, but would allow complete control over the relevant devices for each cabin. They wouldn’t have separate accounts, just a limiting UI (which is a GREAT UI!).
Pretty awesome. Thanks for the tip! Now I just have to get the gumption to invest in that second property!
This system has been working fine for us. We don’t grant any permissions for guests, from their end it operates pretty much like a standard cabin. From our end we assign them a door code and turn on the lights and heat before they arrive. From their end they have manual control over the switches, thermostat etc. Then when they leave we can make sure that everything is shut off, locked and the heat is turned back down.
We really don’t have anything fancy set up but it works great.