(CN) — Plaintiffs in a pair of federal class actions claim a Dallas employee of security giant ADT gained unauthorized remote access to hundreds of private security cameras, allowing him to view customers in their homes.
Filed Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the lawsuits claim a technician for ADT Security Services obtained unfettered access to customers’ cameras and security systems by adding his email to their online ADT accounts.
The unauthorized activity persisted for as long as seven years, according to the lawsuits. After installing customers’ security systems, the employee was able to view them nude, “in various states of undress” and during “moments of physical intimacy,” the plaintiffs claim.
Representing the plaintiffs, Matthew McCarley with the firm Fears Nachawati said that the ADT installation technician was able to view live and recorded footage of customers throughout their homes, including their bedrooms.
“Some of these customers were previous victims of assault. They were relying on ADT to provide them with a sense of safety and security. Instead, they were victimized again,” McCarley said.
ADT notified customers of the breach in April. Its agent allegedly told one plaintiff’s family that the employee had remotely accessed their home security cameras dozens of times.
The company said in a statement that upon discovering the misconduct, it fired the man and reported him to law enforcement. An internal investigation revealed that he had gained access to more than 200 customers’ accounts in the Dallas area, the company said.
“We took immediate action and put measures in place to prevent this from happening again. We deeply regret what happened to the 220 customers affected by this incident and have contacted them to help resolve their concerns,” the company said.
The Florida lawsuits claim ADT could have prevented the unauthorized access if it had put in place safeguards on customers’ online accounts. According to the plaintiffs, the company “failed to monitor consumers’ accounts and promptly alert them anytime a new email was added to their accounts,” the lawsuits state.
The plaintiffs seek damages for negligent hiring, infliction of emotional distress, and “intrusion upon seclusion.”
The complaints were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. ADT is headquartered in Boca Raton.
The company told Courthouse News that it is cooperating with a criminal investigation into the former employee and is “committed to helping bring justice to those impacted by his improper actions.”
According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the matter has been forwarded to the FBI for investigation.
The plaintiffs are also represented by attorneys Jay Edelson, Amy Carter, and Karina Rodrigues.