Arlo Home Security System is being sued for invasion of privacy. The consumer protection attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP recently filed the lawsuit on behalf of a California resident who used the company’s website: www.arlo.com/. Specifically, Arlo is accused of engaging in the unauthorized collection, storage, and sharing of the personal information of its customers. Arlo has also been accused of allowing a third-party company to secretly intercept and monitor the online chat conversations of website visitors without their knowledge or consent. Arlo’s actions are alleged as clear violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA), which explicitly prohibits companies from engaging in behavior that violates certain privacy rights of customers.
We believe Arlo could be potentially violating other privacy rights of consumers based on our preliminary investigation. Keep reading this blog for more information.
Arlo Technologies Fails to Protect the Privacy Rights of Customers
Arlo is a home security company that sells doorbells and security cameras with wireless connections. Arlo Technologies, Inc. is the parent company that manufactures the wireless surveillance cameras and smart home security systems being marketed to consumers for both residential and small business use. Customers are able to use the Arlo.com website to purchase products, monitor their home security systems, and communicate with the company.
Arlo primarily manufactures and sells home security cameras, which means that it is absolutely imperative that the company complies with all applicable federal and California state laws and regulations concerning data privacy. Moreover, the nature of Arlo’s business of selling security cameras and recording devices means that the personal information being collected from customers is likely to be extremely sensitive. When Arlo fails to protect the privacy rights of customers, it exposes them to significant risks not just because the information shared typically goes beyond basic record information to include personally identifiable details, but also because users are able to transmit video files over the internet that make them vulnerable to serious abuses of their privacy.
Privacy Lawsuit Filed Against Arlo Home Security System in Los Angeles County Superior Court
The plaintiff in the current lawsuit against Arlo alleges that Arlo unlawfully collected data using a third-party service on its website. The lead attorney for the plaintiff is Betsy Tauler, a consumer protection attorney who focuses on privacy law. Tauler filed the lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
A major issue has been raised about the digital privacy of consumers who use Arlo’s website and share their private information. When the plaintiff in this case browsed the site, the complaint alleges, she interacted with a chatbox function that used a third party to collect information about her without her consent. Additionally, the home security system company allegedly utilizes the third-party chatbox on the website to unlawfully transmit and store user data. Arlo does this by covertly embedding code into its online chat function that sends the chat to a third party who collects data from the chat without the user’s knowledge. This type of commercial surveillance is illegal in California and violates the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA).
Arlo Sued for Violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA)
The California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) prohibits companies from wiretapping and eavesdropping on the electronic communications of customers. The statute also specifically requires website operators to conspicuously warn visitors if their conversations are being recorded or if any third parties are eavesdropping on them.
The CIPA applies to conversations transmitted via a “cellular radio telephone” or a “landline telephone.” These categories have been found to include smartphones that enable web browsing, as well as desktop computers and laptop computers that utilize wi-fi. The plaintiff in this case accessed Arlo’s website using a smartphone.
Arlo Home Security System faces a civil suit for violating two sections of the California Invasion of Privacy Act:
- Section 631
- Section 632.7
§631 of the CIPA:
Section 631(a) of California’s Penal Code prohibits companies from using any machine, instrument, or contrivance to wiretap a conversation. The statute also forbids companies from reading the contents of any message or communication without the consent of all parties to the communication.
Section 631 applies not just to telephone conversations, but also to internet communications. This means that Arlo’s wiretapping of website chat communications would constitute a clear violation of the CIPA.
Additionally, Arlo allegedly embedded software on its website for the purpose of recording and eavesdropping on customer communications, which is also prohibited because this type of session recording software qualifies as a “machine, instrument, or contrivance” as defined by the statute.
§632.7 of the CIPA:
Arlo has also been accused of violating Section 632.7 of California’s Penal Code by intercepting and intentionally recording customer communications transmitted via telephone. The plaintiff in this case accessed Arlo’s website and used the chat feature with a smartphone, which qualifies as a sophisticated “cellular radio telephone” as defined by the law. Since the statute prohibits companies from recording telephony communications without the consent of all parties, Arlo’s actions would constitute a violation of Section 632.7.
According to the complaint, Arlo’s actions demonstrate that the company is more interested in profiting from its users’ personal information than it is in protecting users’ privacy rights.
Arlo Allegedly Surveils Customers
Arlo allegedly also allows ADA, a third-party company, to eavesdrop on customer conversations. ADA allegedly collects transcripts of these conversations and uses them for financial gain in unregulated dark data markets without any limitations. Additionally, ADA may be exposing Arlo customer data in international data transfers, which could involve foreign countries with different data protection laws.
Arlo allegedly pays substantial sums of money to ADA to embed code into the website chat feature. This is how ADA is able to allegedly intercept the chat communications in real time. The third-party company then eavesdrops on those conversations and stores transcripts. Website visitors have no way of knowing that this is being done. In fact, the complaint alleges that no one who uses the chatbox feature on the Arlo.com website is informed that they are being subjected to unlawful surveillance.
Do You Use Arlo for Home Security? Call the California Consumer Protection Attorneys at Tauler Smith LLP
Anyone within California who uses Arlo and believes they have been unlawfully collecting data may be eligible to file an invasion of privacy lawsuit to recover injunctive relief and statutory damages under the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) or other consumer protection laws.
The California consumer fraud lawyers at Tauler Smith LLP are representing plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Arlo Home Security System. For more information, call 310-590-3927 or send us an email.