AAI Says N.Y. Anti-Voyeurism Bill Would Hinder Fraud-Fighting Efforts

August 16, 2002

A bill being considered by the New York State Senate’s Rules Committee aimed at imposing limits on “video voyeurism” could inadvertently hamper insurers’ attempts to unearth fraud, according to the Alliance of American Insurers.

“Intended to protect the privacy of individuals, this bill inadvertently limits the ability of insurance companies to fight insurance fraud through the use of surveillance,” Kirk Hansen, Alliance director of claims, commented.

The so-called “anti-voyeurism” bill (SB 7837) makes it unlawful to knowingly photograph, film or videotape another person without that person’s knowledge and consent, while that person is in a place where there would be a reasonable expectation of privacy.

“While the bill exempts activities of a ‘legitimate nature,’ it doesn’t define what ‘legitimate nature’ is and therefore doesn’t expressly protect the activities of insurers combating insurance fraud,” Hansen cautioned. “Passage of the bill could have a devastating effect on claim costs in the state. The Alliance questions the need for such bills, since invasion of privacy laws already exist.”

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