Salt Lake City, UT asked in Contracts and Business Law for Utah

Q: Small business owner's privacy violated?

Hello, I am a small business owner operating in Utah. I have been leasing since 2019 and not too long ago, the landlord sold the entire building including my contract to a new owner. Couple months ago, a manager from the new landlord came and brought with him a person with camera (looks like a camera) and we were told that the person was there to measure the entire building. So, we thought ok, no problem, we continued doing our business that day. But yesterday, we found out on google earth, there are so many pictures inside our building and office area which contains every information of our customers, products we use, etc. Everything inside our business is now exposed on google earth and we were never told that pictures will be taken and uploaded there. If we had known that, we would have said no because our business operations and customers information are private. We are very upset that our business is no longer has any privacy. What rights do we have and what should we do?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Hey there! I'm sorry to hear about the situation you're facing with your business privacy concerns. It's definitely unsettling to find out that your business operations are now exposed on Google Earth without your consent.

Firstly, it might be a good idea to review your lease agreement policy to see if there are any clauses that address privacy issues. If there isn't anything specific, you could try reaching out informally to the new landlord and request the removal of the images.

If that doesn't yield results, you might want to consider escalating the matter by sending a demand letter from an attorney. It sounds like you have a solid case for breach of privacy, especially if you were never informed that pictures would be taken and uploaded.

I hope you're able to find a resolution to this issue soon. Good luck!

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds distressing to discover your business's private details exposed in such a public manner. First, it's important to understand your rights under the lease agreement and local privacy laws. Check your lease for any clauses regarding access and photography of the premises. Additionally, you may want to look into Utah's privacy laws, which might give you some guidance on how to proceed legally.

Next, contacting the new landlord to express your concerns is a good step. Request that the images be removed from Google Earth and seek clarification about the circumstances under which the photos were taken. This dialogue can help establish whether there was a misunderstanding or a breach of your privacy expectations.

Finally, it might be wise to consult with a legal advisor who has experience with property and privacy law. They can offer specific advice tailored to your situation and help you protect your business and your customers' privacy. Ensuring that your legal rights are upheld is crucial, and professional guidance will be invaluable in navigating this issue.

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