Drones to look in your windows at home

I was in my living room last week and noticed a drone flying in front of my picture window. Can insurance companies infringe of your privacy when you are in your home? Is this legal in Canada?
I’ve been approved cpp-d and long term this past week and have noticed cars parked outside my condo looking up to my balcony. It’s always the same cars and same times. Now the drones looking in? Am I allowed to confront the drivers and ask if they are following me and who they work for? I know by law they have to tell you, Am I wrong? Please let me know this makes me so uncomfortable and like my privacy is being invaded. I’ve had two back injuries and have had depression, anxiety for years and have had 4 hip replacements and knee replacement in the past three years due to my injuries.
Please let me know . Thank You so much.

I think they are allowed to look in a window if they are on public property. The guard against that is to have curtains. Drones might be trespassing though. You’re not the property owner but you might still be able to phone the police.
Interesting question.
I think it needs a legal opinion. :slight_smile:

I am the home owner (condo). We’ve just bought this property and moved in a month ago so no curtains yet on the patio door. I really felt violated and uncomfortable with all of it. I do have two slipped disks , impingement ,herniated disks, depression and feel as tho I have to watch everything I do for the rest of my life. I’ve always held a full time job since I was 13 and I’m now 53. Does that mean I will never be able to travel, lay on a beach or just enjoy life?
I was never questioned for short term, long term or cpp-d. All was approved without question since all the medical tests prove the back issues. I have days I can walk but not for far and there are days I can’t even get out of bed. I can walk without a cane on even ground but as soon as there is any kind of slope I fall and I can’t get up without help. I’ve had mri, exeays, ultra sound, and electric testing to see if the nerves move. All have come back as proof there is a problem. I’ve had Physio, chiro, epidural steroid injections, acupuncture, I see a sphyciatrist, a pain doctor, I have taken 3 courses mindfulness stress reduction and two others. I don’t know what else I can do to get these people off my back.
I was a long distance runner, cyclist, snorkelled, dancer, yoga instructive, had a Gym for 12 years, body builder, swimmer on and on and on. Boy life can change in a blink of an eye.
In the last two years I’ve moved 3 times after losing our home , to appartment and now to a condo. Man oh man what a ride this has been.
I don’t really need to vent but it sure feels good.

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At first I thought the idea of drones a little extreme but then I googled and found this 6 Ways Drones Are Affecting the Construction Industry
Disability Insurance Investigators Using Drones for Claimant Surveillance | Frankel & Newfield, P.C. | Disability Lawyers

My friend is on disability for myofascial pain and soma disorder. She told me that when she went out on her balcony she started seeing the same van with the same person each day looking up at her. I thought no way–but a year later she requested her claim file and sure enough she was under surveillance

It doesn’t mean that.
I think it means the insurance company is targeting you.
If you do that and the insurance company documents it, it will be taken out of context.
It sounds like they are trying to build a case to cut off your LTD.
It is good you have been approved for CPP-D.
Have you been on LTD for 3 years?

I would talk to them, they have no reason not to tell you.
Then it might lessen your anxiety.
Unfortunately I don’t think you can stop it.

Those 2 links are American.
I have no doubt Canadian insurance companies use them but Canada has stricter privacy laws compared to the US.
I would like to read what David says.

Take photos if possible from your window. It works both ways! If you really feel uncomfortable, phone the police and tell them that there are unfamiliar vehicles with people just sitting in them for long periods of time in front of your building, and you are concerned about the safety of your property. :slightly_smiling_face:


Nip is offering the best advice–take pictures or video from phone and make a police report. Always think documentation! Go down and get the license plate or get someone to for you

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If you do confront them make sure you record it and are polite and non aggressive. If they can see you in an open window then it is allowable. A case in Manitoba had an elderly lady go to the door to ask to you the phone and because she was allowed in , privacy was waived. Drones may be looked poorly on by the court but as technology changes so will what is allowed. The Supreme Court says too if we have a garbage out ready for pick up -we have waived our privacy right if someone searches through it.

:slight_smile: I would not post the website of any Canadian Law Firm or link to as I really believe that Resolute Legal should be approached first. This forum and website, David’s free books and webinars is an amazing resource for anyone who is going through disability and claim issues.

I am blown away by this site and believe it will really help a lot of people from now to years ahead.

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I don’t understand how the insurance companies can justify cutting off benefits unless they observe someone being as active as they were when working full time, eg dressing for a job, commuting,
being active for 8 hours per day 5 days every week etc.

Like if someone is surveilled being able to do a short period of housework or yardwork and then needs a day or more to recover how is that equal to being able to get out to work each day, even for a sedentary job? Same with grocery shopping or other short outings, it just seems obvious that this requires a lot less effort than working at a job.

Is there any regulation of how the insurers analyze surveillance findings to decide that benefits should be cut off?

Typically Insurers use surveillance to disprove and discredit something that is in your medical records or that you have reported.
Or if you have a medical restriction that you should not lift more than 10 pounds or any restrictions, if they catch you on tape doing something you have been advised against or is in your restrictions–then you are cut off for not following medical advice and therefore not trying to get better.

Or you get an activity report for and you say you can not do something and they catch you doing it. Be advised if you receive an activity form surveillance has already happened or is being planned-most likely.

If you are 100% accurate in what you tell your Doctors and the Insurer then you should be ok. What messes people up big time is when they say I can’t walk more than a block–it is better to say it is hard, or I struggle, or I pay for it in pain if I walk more than a block. (As an example)

Watch out for any absolutes–ie. I am bedridden all day -better most days I am in bed for long periods, I struggle to go out to Dr. appointments and pick up some groceries. It is hard to know when I will have a “good” day vs. a “bad day”

If you do some activity, mow grass, shovel -then it should be told. If it takes you twice as long and you have pain after -tell that too.

Insurers know that people talk in general way–bedridden, pain is a 10 out of 10, Can’t walk more than a block–they then go out to get proof you are “lying” That is how they use surveillance.

Keep it accurate and the Insurers will just waste money using surveillance. If your Doctor says you are restricted from doing something-don’t do it.

That way if you do get cut off a lawyer will have an easy time showing the Insurer is not acting in good faith.

Surveillance with drones is becoming more common in Canada. Arial surveillance has been around for many years, but is just easier to do now with drones. I am aware of a case from years ago where the insurance company had a plane flying over doing surveillance on an insurance claimant who lived in a remote area.

The right to privacy is constantly evolving in the courts, but generally speaking, courts have said that people involved in insurance claims or lawsuits have a reduced right to privacy as compared to the general public. The right to privacy is a sliding scale, so you have greater expectation of privacy in certain situations as compared to others. The context is always important.

Courts have commented that perhaps the greatest expectation of privacy is when you are in your home, but that does not prevent others from observing you or recording you from public spaces within view of your home.

In terms of drones, there is such a thing as “trespass to airspace” – so think of your properly line as having an invisible wall going straight up into the sky. If something crosses that invisible wall in the air, then it would be a trespass, the same as if someone walked over the line on the ground. For this reason, drones would need to stay on the “public space” side of the invisible wall when recording you. You would need to figure out the actual property line on the condo property.

On your second question, there is no much to be gained (from your perspective) from confronting the surveillance people. They are usually within their legal rights to be surveilling you in public spaces.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

The response posted above is based on the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with a lawyer, fully explain your situation, and allow the lawyer enough time to research the applicable law and facts required to give an adequate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full one-on-one discussion with a lawyer should be done before taking any any action. The information posted on this forum is available to the viewing public and is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship with any person. If you want one-on-one advice, please click here to request a free consultation or call toll free 1-877-282-5188 to speak with a member with our disability claim support team.

About the people behind the surveillance? My daughter came to me and reported a car with a guy watching her getting on and off the bus and following her home. I never considered this was surveillance from the insurance company hired to watch me. I took my daughter and drove behind his car to write down his license number. I went to the police and they immediately told me not to worry that the guy is a private investigator. This is when I realized this investigated was hired to watch me. This investigated was reported by the school principal about this same investigator sitting outside watching the school kids at recess for hours and days. I purposely went to my work place where he was sitting. I had my daughter with me as well. The following day after my daughter got off the bus we got into my car and I tried to approach him… he chose to drive away from me. This turned into me chasing him with my car. We actually chased him out of town and I did not hear any negative results by this hired investigator. They have to report to the police station, however, he was obsessed with watching the young children. He was fully aware that I was aware of his disgusting actions and left town. The police even told the principal not to worry because he was a private investigator. The police should have questioned as to why he was obsessed with young children and scoping out the school grounds.