davey_d's profile
Community Admin

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

Fri, Mar 5, 2021 8:03 PM

Important Update on Camera Recordings

Hi all,

We want to let you know of a change that we've made to help protect your privacy, based on customer feedback. From now on, recordings will no longer be triggered when arming your SimpliSafe system in either Home or Away Modes. This change affects both the SimpliCam Indoor Camera, as well as the Video Doorbell Pro.

Camera recordings can of course still be triggered from other actions on your SimpliSafe system, including:
  • Security system disarms
  • Full alarm events
  • Alerts from the built-in Motion Sensor
  • Video Doorbell button presses
  • Secret Alert triggers


We here at SimpliSafe believe strongly that you can't have security without privacy - and boosting one will strengthen the other. Of course, we are always open to your feedback or questions. Let us know what you think!

Johnny M.

SimpliSafe Home Security

6 Messages

1 y ago

Can you share more info on this? Camera recordings are not showing up in the app.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

1 y ago

@simplisafe, as of this morning, 7am central, when I disarmed the system recordings did appear in the timeline in the android app. When are/were they supposed to stop?

1 y ago

Cameras will record when you disarm the system via the keypad or your keyfob. These recordings help you capture evidence of who disarmed the system.
Cameras will not record when you disarm the system remotely via the app.

257 Messages

1 y ago

Camera is NOT recording when disarming the system. Using phone app iOS. The camera does work when using keypad. Obvious a issue with iOS programming.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

1 y ago

@Rahul S. Thank you for your post. The information about the keypad was missed, I believe, in Johnny M's post and is very important.

@sh2402 if you compare the two posts from Johnny M and Raul S you will see the difference, admittedly a fine difference. Since you used your app, the cameras will not record it. Will only record arming and disarming when done via the keypad.

This is a great improvement!

22 Messages

1 y ago

I am not a fan of this change.

From a security perspective, I don't like that disarming the system via the app doesn't seem to trigger the recordings.  Using the app is convenient, but it already comes with a security compromise due to the fact that a system PIN is not required to disarm from the app.  Sure, you can add a PIN to the app itself, but that is not the same as the SimpliSafe PINs set up to disarm the system.  Most specifically, there's no way to disarm from the app using your duress PIN.  In my opinion, using the app was already a security compromise and now is even more of one.  Yet it is necessary to have the app in order to view videos, so there's no practical way to avoid a scenario where a bad guy who understands SimpliSafe forces you to disarm using the app so that the duress PIN is not use.  But I digress...

Additionally, I appreciated the recordings that occurred when arming the system as a way to verify if the cameras were all online and to see which buggy doorbells couldn't tell the difference between day time and night time.

I can see how this change is beneficial to SimpliSafe since it will probably substantially decrease the amount of videos they are saving on their servers.  I can see where some family members might appreciate that they will not be recorded if they happen to be in a room with a camera when the system is armed.  That's probably how you get away claiming this is a privacy change based on user feedback.  Of all the requests I see in these forums, that's one though that I don't remember seeing often (if ever) while many more popular requests are seemingly being ignored.

At a minimum, you should give your customers an option to specify whether or not a camera should capture videos when the system is armed/disarmed.  And it shouldn't matter whether or not the app was used to arm or disarm the system.

2 Messages

1 y ago

If I'm lucky one of my cameras will record on an away disarm. It seems to be random which camera it picks to record. This update seems to be buggy.a Has anybody else reported any issues with this?

4 Messages

1 y ago

+1  Not a fan of this change.

If your company want to safe cloud space then give people option to select what they want to be recorded and under what conditions as well as option to safe video locally - Sd card, NAS, SSD via some hub. Then and only then pay privacy card!

As customer who pays for 24/7 Interactive Alarm Monitoring + Alerts I'm expecting all activates to be recorded and receive more options and definitely it less. I'm not even talking about promise of future integrations - Sonos, Lutron, Apple HomeKit.

Recording of all activates was one of the main points when I was shopping around for the alarm system 2 plus years ago...

Now to the point - this move completely unacceptable from security standpoint and for insurance use...- any good alarm system MUST record all activity arming and disarming, etc.

By stopping recording during the arming away / arming home - we are losing record / recording of the current state of the area that getting protected. Furthermore when system is triggered by the alarm event you have no video to go back to and compare what was the area state / condition before and after alarm was triggered.

If your company really for privacy and safety than add panic button to the app this way people can activate panic mode from the phone....

P.S. by removing features customer must be given option to return the entire system and receive the reimbursement!!!

Captain

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4.7K Messages

1 y ago

@zHuman since recordings are still made for secret alerts and alarm conditions, more than enough is being covered. SS is responding to many (obviously not all) to have disarming and arming removed entirely) to have none of this activity recorded. SS appears to have taken a middle ground. Under the category of "no good deed goes unpunished", like trying to respond to customer input, possibly they can make this an option.

As far as your comment that if a feature is removed a customer must be given the option to return the entire system for reimbursement, that is not reality in most businesses and their transactions, unless part of a contract. In this instance, I would say you would be out of luck.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

1 y ago

@Captain11 Apologies. I've edited the original post to be more accurate about disarming via app.

@RaulManor All cameras should be recording. Could it be possible that your upload bandwidth might be a bottleneck that's preventing all your cameras from working at the same time? Of course, our Support team at 800-548-9508 can help troubleshoot!

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

Captain

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4.7K Messages

1 y ago

@Johnny M no need to apologize for anything.  I, and I am sure many others, applaud your efforts to expand Simplisafe's communications with customers!  It goes a long way to build on customer goodwill and trust and it is appreciated. Have a good weekend, at least what's left of it!

2 Messages

1 y ago

@Johnny M No, it's not possible there's a bottleneck. All cameras worked and recorded fine before the update. The cameras indicate they are recording when disarming but only one recording shows up in the app. This appears to be a problem on your end as everything functioned as expected prior to the update. I've made no changes on my end and bandwidth wasn't a problem previously.

For what it's worth I'd rather have the ability to configure what records and when rather than having surprise changes in updates. But right now the most important issue to me is getting my system back to working to the level it was prior to the update. I'd appreciate any help in this matter that doesn't require a painful phone call with an inexperienced customer service rep.

22 Messages

1 y ago

@Johnny M - I've disarmed my system twice since this update. Both times from Home mode. Once using the app, then using a keypad. In both cases, only one camera has recordings available in the timeline. Four cameras were generating recordings in the timeline prior to your changes. And, no, I did not make a switch to a slower internet plan at the same time this update was pushed.

I know I could call support, but in my hours of experience calling them (mostly about locks, but not exclusively), I've found those calls to be more painstaking than productive. Since the Issue obviously is a software change that affects people other than just myself, I'm going to hold off on phone calls for now but use the forums to share feedback.

Thank you for engaging with us on this issue.

Captain

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4.7K Messages

1 y ago

@JohnnyM, confirming previous posts, it appears only one camera, but when secret alert from garage and then disarming from the kitchen, it appears only one camera, first one home office, 2nd the living room. Again, both event only 1 camera. Will check the website dashboard.

Update:
Dashboard does show all camera feeds but the GUI has changed. On the top of the video, it now shows left and right arrows so you now have to scroll through the feeds.

Community Admin

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469 Messages

1 y ago

Hi all,

Captain11, thanks for testing out what the other users on this thread have mentioned. Just to confirm, when viewing recordings of an event through the timeline on the SimpliSafe app you are only able to view the recording from one of those cameras, but if you attempt to view through your account on SimpliSafe.com you are able to view all of the cameras' recordings for that same event?

SimpliSafe Social Team
SimpliSafe Home Security