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Ring, Arlo and Nest – are just three of the more prevalent – and quickly becoming ubiquitous – cloud video device / platforms. These video systems consist of small, inexpensive, easy to install and configure video cameras (most of which also have audio recording capability).  Due to the low cost and ease of installation, their use in residential settings has literally exploded in recent years. These devices generally have no internal or local storage. Unlike traditional video security systems, the cameras are not networked to a local storage device on the premises – instead, each camera is connected to the WiFi network in the home, controlled by an App on a phone or a tablet – and records to a cloud storage account, generally with a limited storage capacity – and limited time frame that recordings will be save for. 

Because there is no ‘local storage’ – the recordings are extremely ‘volatile’ – meaning they must be accessed, collected and preserved soon after being recorded – or they may be gone forever. The only way to do this – once it is established the recordings may exist – is to obtain the user’s account credentials, access the account and collect and preserve the recordings directly from the cloud – or obtain the recordings via Subpoena if the account credentials are not available / cannot be obtained. Due to the generally short retention periods (30-90 for most accounts) if a subpoena cannot be issued immediately a preservation demand letter should be sent to the provider.


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