The question Can my landlord require me to agree to third-party terms of service if they install a smart lock on my door during my lease? led me to read the newspaper article Hell's Kitchen Landlord Sued For Keyless Entry System Agrees To Provide Keys which has this statement from the smart lock manufacturer:
In response to the story, a Latch spokesman issued a statement, saying that the lawsuit contained "many inaccuracies about how Latch works." He added: "At a private residence such as an apartment, the access history of individual residents at their home remains private to that specific resident alone and is never shared with anyone, including property management."
A lock on my apartment does not need to keep a log of who accessed it to function if I am the only person who can access that log. Can my landlord legally install a device that allows a third party to surveil me and my guests when neither my landlord or the third party claim that they will use the recorded information for a purpose?
Security cameras in the hallways are probably legally similar, but they feel less targeted to me and more transparent. If a tenant chooses not to create an account with Latch for example, it doesn’t seem like they have any way to access or manage those logs, and there is little transparency on how those logs are managed by the company or how long they’re retained. If I’m the only person who is supposed to be able to access them, then they serve no purpose if I choose not to use their app, even if the landlord creates an account on my behalf so the device will work.
When I search for laws about location tracking, it mostly involves unconstitutional searches by the government related to GPS data. What sorts of laws would apply if I wanted to prevent a non-government entity from forcing me to allow them to collect that data if I want to access my apartment? An example of the terms of service from Latch says:
I don’t want to accept these terms, but I have to if I use the lock, and I have to use the lock to enter my home. It seems like it’s similar to adding additional provisions to the lease, and I probably wouldn’t have signed a lease if it had provided that the owner could require me to agree to additional undisclosed terms from undisclosed third parties at the owner’s discretion.