Keyless “Smart Access” Technologies

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Keyless “Smart Access” Technologies
Short Title Keyless Technologies Allow Landlords Track Tenants
Location United States
Date December 2019

Solove Harm Surveillance, Aggregation
Information Behavioral, Identifying, Public Life, Family, Contact, Computer Device
Threat Actors Landlords

Affected Tenants
High Risk Groups
Tangible Harms Inconvenience, Anxiety

Keyless "smart access" technologies that use fobs, pin codes, smartphone apps allow landlords access a fast amount of personal data of tenants.


Keyless or “smart access” technologies are the technologies, that use fobs, pin codes, smartphone apps or biometric recognition instead of keys to enter a house.

Every time a tenant taps into their apartment or building with a fob, a piece of reference data is created and tracked by their landlord or property manager. This is an example of Surveillance.

This data gives landlords the ability to know when a tenant is home, who the tenant shares access with and how often, when the tenant’s kids come home from school. Some smart home systems give landlords access to a resident’s utility data, such as heat, electricity and Wi-Fi usage rates.

As of December 2019 there is not a single law anywhere in the United States that protects tenant data.

A 72-year old New Yorker told the media, she was forced to use the new smart locks with build-in cameras. She said she didn't want to be tracked, but gave in because otherwise she would have lost the access to the elevators and mailboxes. She took a key card, which is registered with her phone number and email address. This can be seen as Aggregation.

Laws and Regulations