Former ADT Employee Caught Spying on Customers, Pleads Guilty

Safety Team
Updated Feb 24, 2021
2 min read
A former ADT technician has pleaded guilty to spying on customers for more than four years. The technician, Telesforo Aviles, admitted to spying on hundreds of customers in their homes by accessing their accounts and security cameras over a period of four years.

Aviles added his personal email address to more than 200 accounts throughout the Dallas, Texas region, providing him with unauthorized access at times to home security system cameras. Aviles told some customers he needed temporary access to their home security systems for testing purposes, but used that access to view their video feeds instead.

ADT Privacy Breach

ADT discovered a breach back in April 2020 when one customer complained that an unauthorized email address was on their account. After investigation, Aviles’ access was immediately revoked, and his employment was terminated with the company. ADT also notified customers about the breach.

The company issued a statement about the incident, noting, “Our customers trust ADT with their safety and protection. We understand that this incident jeopardizes that trust and is entirely unacceptable.  We will make extraordinary efforts to earn back that trust.”

ADT has detailed those efforts on an FAQ page. Among them: “We personally called all of the 220 Dallas-area customers to apologize and work with them to help make this right. We’re using all the resources at our disposal to help ensure their safety, provide peace of mind and attempt to address all the concerns they may have.”

The company says it has also taken preventative steps: “We’ve already implemented technical and procedural solutions to help keep this abuse of access from ever happening again. This also has caused us to review all of our processes, technical systems and hiring practices to strengthen our account security and customer privacy even more, and we’ve engaged third-party experts to assist in that review.”

What This Privacy Breach Means for You

This incident highlights the importance of consumer vigilance in protecting personal information. While customers are obviously not at fault for an employee’s abuse of access, it was a vigilant ADT customer who first identified the breach. Regularly changing passwords and monitoring account usage adds an extra layer of security and helps you stay in control of your safety. In response to this particular incident, ADT has provided resources explaining how to add or remove users from your account. ADT understands how this incident affects customer trust and says it will do the best it can to protect those it serves: “We apologize to the customers affected by the actions of this former employee and deeply regret this incident.  The ADT mission is to help protect and connect people with the things they love most.  Fully earning this trust back may take time, but nothing is more important to us and to those who have served our customers under the ADT banner for the last 145 years.” Photo by JJava Designs / Shutterstock

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