I once lost my wallet. I had a hunch that it might have fallen out of my pocket when I was pumping gas. I went back to the pumps and asked if I could see the security video around the time I was there, to determine if that's what had happened. The establishment refused to let me see the video. Eventually, they watched the video themselves and reported to me that I did not appear to drop it there. I ultimately found it behind my bed. I was, of course, happy I found my wallet, but that incident got me thinking about the legality of the situation. So I pose the question.
An establishment holds control on a location open to the public. (gas station, shopping mall, outdoor entertainment, bar, shared storage lot, etc.) This establishment owns surveillance cameras with the good faith of protecting their own property. All entrances have notices posted informing all entrants that they are under surveillance. An incident happens with Alice on that premise that the cameras happen to capture. This incident does not involve the establishment's assets, it merely took place on their property.
Alice was at the public location being surveyed, has legal investment in the incident, and wants to acquire the video captured by the establishment's surveillance. The establishment's logic is that the cameras belong to them, therefore, so too does the video.
- Is it legal for the establishment to withhold this video?
- Is it legal for the establishment to share this video?