New technologies are developing every day that make daily life easier. Technology makes it possible to monitor a thermostat remotely, unlock your car doors, watch children from another room, or even monitor a home’s security system remotely. But, what happens when this technology intrudes into private spaces?
Almost everyone agrees that cameras should not be in any place where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like in changing rooms, bathrooms, or inside a rented apartment. But, that universal agreement doesn’t stop voyeurs. Technology just makes it easier, with smaller cameras and wireless connections.
While there is a crime of “video voyeurism” in Florida, section 810.145, enforcement of the statute can run up against problems with strict burdens of proof.
Even where an act of voyeurism is not prosecuted criminally, there still may be avenues for civil financial recovery. In criminal cases, the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In a civil case, where the bad actor is being punished only with a money judgment and not jail time, the burden is only by a “preponderance of the evidence.”
Luckily, Florida recognizes a civil cause of action for “invasion of privacy.” Much like a claim of trespass, if someone’s conduct intrudes, physically or electronically, and without permission, into a space where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, that conduct can result in a civil claim.
Harmon, Woods, Parker & Abrunzo, P.A. has experience in bringing lawsuits against people who have committed video voyeurism and have improperly invaded the privacy of other people without permission.