Woman Says Home Security Cameras Hacked, Violating her Privacy - NBC 6 South Florida

Woman Says Home Security Cameras Hacked, Violating her Privacy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 6 Invasion of Privacy

    NBC 6's Willard Shepard reports on a possible invasion of privacy.

    (Published Thursday, May 17, 2018)

    Grace Carricarte installed security cameras in her Coral Gables home after a burglary. She said the cameras made her feel safer.

    “God forbid anything should happen, I would know they could catch the bad guys,” she said.

    Instead, she found out she was the one seen on camera in what’s now being treated as a crime.

    Police say her security cameras were accessed from outside her home using her web portal.

    “I could not believe that those devices were the very ones used to completely violate my right to privacy in my home,” she said.

    She said she made the discovery after calling customer service after hearing the system make a low battery chiming noise.

    The person on the phone asked her about her recent logins to the web portal that controls the system.

    “They said, ‘Ma’am, are you telling me that you did not log in online at 5:12 this morning?’ To which I said, ‘I was asleep. No,” she recalled.

    She said the company representative then read off other times the system had been accessed. 

    “The technician said if you are denying that these are you, you need to contact law enforcement because somebody is accessing your account,” she said.

    She then learned that the person’s access to her system allowed them to watch live images from the cameras placed in the entry points of her home including an area where she says she gets dressed.

    After she reported her discovery to police, they informed her that it was her ex-boyfriend who they believed was responsible for accessing the cameras.

    “Post-breakup for over a month, he had been watching me in my home for up to six hours a day,” she said.

    Her ex-boyfriend is Dr. Colin Knight who works as a pediatric surgeon at Miami Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Police told her the IP address from the hospital came up as one of the places where her camera’s web portal was accessed.

    He’s been charged with 40 counts of unauthorized computer access and one count of video voyeurism. If convicted, he faces serious prison time on the charges.

    Dr. Knight referred NBC 6 to his attorney, Andrew Fox, for what he says happened.

    “He never did anything illegal,” Fox said. “I don’t think somebody should be prosecuted for something they had permission to do. He didn’t hack into her cameras.”

    Fox says Carricarte gave Knight the password to her system as one of many items they shared.

    “She had the code to my guy’s cell phone. He had the code to her cell phone. She had the key to my guy’s house. He had the key to her house. He had the alarm code to her house. She had the alarm code to his house,” Fox said.

    He says she had asked Dr. Knight to check up on her.

    “When you give somebody access to your cameras and ask them to check up on you, I don’t think you should be shocked when they check up on you,” Fox said.

    Carricarte denies she shared the password or asked Knight to check up on her.

    “Sadly, it’s one of those crimes that go undetected because most of the time, the victim has no idea it’s happening,” said Robin Pimentel, Carricarte’s attorney.

    Knight’s attorney feels confident that the charges against the doctor will be dropped. In a statement, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital wrote that Knight is “a private practice physician currently on a leave of absence from the medical staff.” The hospital wouldn’t comment on the criminal case.

    As for Carricarte, she says she’s glad she found out about what was happening.

    “I’m a girl who just wanted to go to sleep one night and is grateful that I found out something that nobody should ever have to go through which is that the very devices I put in my home to keep me safe were used to completely violate my privacy,” she said.

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