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TMA, ESA dispute Google’s claim

 - 
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Monitoring Association (TMA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA) are calling out Google on its recent statement — “security systems often use microphones” — noting that such statements “misrepresent the vast majority of today’s residential security systems installed throughout the country.”

The dispute follows recent reporting by Business Insider, CNN Business and many other publications that have highlighted the undisclosed, on-board microphone discovered in Google’s Nest Guard Security Device — raising serious privacy concerns among consumers.

Since audio recording includes privacy and legal complexities, it’s not extremely common in residential installations, the associations noted, pointing out that security professionals and integrators consult with customers and ensure all federal and state laws are abided by.

“Adding audio surveillance can certainly make for a more robust system,” ESA President Chris Mosley said in a prepared statement. “We’re seeing exciting advancements in the audio surveillance category, such as acoustic sensors and microphones that can help us detect gunfire or when voices become elevated that could indicate potential violence. However, sweeping statements to infer that residential systems commonly have this feature are simply not accurate.”

Richard Brent, CEO, Louroe Electronics, an ESA Member company and 40-year-old manufacturer of audio-based technologies, agrees, noting, “Sound-based technology in security systems is common in law enforcement, institutional, and smart city installations. However, the use of microphones for surveillance in residences is extremely rare on account of heightened expectations of privacy.”

According to both associations, adding microphones and audio capabilities to security systems adds another level of precaution that must be taken to install the system in a way that protects the privacy of the consumer.

“Security systems are now an important part of the customer home experience in that we can integrate with audio assistance,” TMA President Ivan Spector said. “However professionally installed and monitored security systems are not designed to record data and conversations unbeknownst to our customers.”

Professionally installed systems have the backing of technology experts who know the full capability of the system and its components and can appropriately safeguard these systems, so as not to compromise privacy.

TMA adds AvantGuard’s Justin Bailey to its board of directors

 - 
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Monitoring Association announced today through its blog that AvantGuard’s president and COO Justin Bailey has joined TMA’s board of directors, representing contract monitoring companies.

Justin Bailey has worked with AvantGuard Monitoring since 2010. Bailey was promoted to the role of president and COO mid last year, prior to that he served as the company’s COO. Bailey is also a Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner from the Class of 2011.

“I’m excited to join the TMA board, after having served on committees for a number of years,” Bailey said in TMA’s blog. “I see the pace of change increasing from within the industry as well as from disruptors, and know we need to evolve more quickly as an industry to remain relevant.  I look forward to working with the other TMA board members to that end.”

AvantGuard Monitoring, a wholesale central station with locations in Ogden, Utah, and Rexburg, Iowa, offers a variety of monitoring services, including security, fire, PERS and mPERS, and IoT monitoring. In addition, the company has also been creating hybrid monitoring options, for security companies that would like to use their own central station part of the time.

 

Celia Besore named TMA’s executive director

 - 
10/03/2018

VIENNA, Va.—The Monitoring Association announced yesterday that Celia T. Besore will become the new executive director of the association on Nov. 1, succeeding Jay Hauhn who is retiring on Oct. 31. Besore will be the first female executive director for TMA.

BBB teams with security industry to fight fraud

Louisiana State Fire Marshal leads news conference on stopping deceptive sales practices
 - 
05/23/2018

BATON ROUGE, La.—As one of the leading states for deceptive sales practices, Louisiana consumers will be targets of deceptive doorknockers this summer who con them into switching their alarm service.

TMA holds inaugural Technology Summit

Jay Hauhn provides an overview of the event
 - 
04/04/2018

SALT LAKE CITY—The Monitoring Association held its inaugural Technology Summit here, March 19-21, covering technologies directly related to monitoring centers in today’s industry.

Registration open for new TMA event

 - 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

VIENNA, Va.—Registration is now open for The Monitoring Association’s recently announced “TMA Technology Summit,” an inaugural event to be held March 19-21, 2018 in Salt Lake City. The event is coordinated by TMA’s Technology Committee, which is co-chaired by Sascha Kylau, vice president of sales, Onetel Security and Steve Butkovich, CTO, CPI Security Systems.

“We invite CTOs, CIOs, and IT directors of monitoring companies to participate in the first TMA Tech Summit to learn about and discuss technology issues that directly affect monitoring centers,” Kylau said in a prepared statement. “By attending, these tech pros will learn about the newest technologies—hardware, software and services—to run their central stations securely and efficiently, minimizing downtime and protecting them from internal and external threats,” he continued.

“We also welcome dealers, owners, and interested participants from manufacturing companies,” Butkovich said in the announcement. “We’ll be talking about all the things that matter when it comes to technology and running and securing an effective business.”

Sessions and topics will include:

•           Intelligent apps and analytics

•           MPLS, SD-WAN, secure VPNs (what are they and what is best for my business)

•           Contact Center 2018 (speech recognition for QC, text to speech, AI, and more)

•           Data storage (new storage options and best practices for storage and data retention)

•           3G, LTE, FirstNet, 5G and beyond

•           Next gen Linux mainframe

•           Cybersecurity (gap & risk assessment—It’s a business issue, not just an IT issue)

•           Next gen firewalls and other cyber hardware tools

•           Data backup and recovery solutions

•           Data encryption

In the announcement, TMA noted that the Technology Summit will be modeled after its Fall Operations Management Seminar. Both days of the conference will conclude with round table discussions of the day’s presentations. The room block for the event is now open as well.

Top monitoring topics in 2017

 - 
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—Now that we are in the second half of December, it seems like a natural time to look back over the year and some of the common topics from the monitoring side of the industry in 2017. 

The Monitoring Association had some notable developments this year, including changing its name from CSAA in March—a change made to better portray the focus of the organization.

It was great to attend TMA’s Annual Meeting this year. You can read an overview of that event here. At the close of the meeting TMA welcomed its new president, Ivan Spector, president of Montreal-based Sentinel Alarm Co., along with several other officers. You can read more about that here.

And, more recently, TMA announced its new Level 1 training course for monitoring center operators.

PERS, yet again, was a big topic of the year.

Affiliated Monitoring held its second annual Catalyst conference in Miami in mid-May, examining the sales and marketing aspects of the PERS industry.

AvantGuard held its fourth PERS Summit in late September, in Park City, Utah, covering a variety of topics.

Medical alert provider Medical Guardian also announced a change-up to its branding and marketing, looking more at overcoming one of the biggest obstacles in the PERS industry, which is “the perception of the service,” according to company founder and CEO, Geoff Gross.

PERS manufacturer Freeus also started a dealer education initiative. There were also some acquisitions announced; VRI made a purchase in the PERS space, as did Tunstall Americas, and GTCR was purchased by a private equity firm. PERS company ONKÖL started production.

There were also a few notable hires and role changes at monitoring companies: Security Partners named Randy Hall as its president, Justin Bailey became the president of AvantGuard in addition to being its COO, MONI’s Bruce Mungiguerra was promoted from SVP to COO, and NMC recently hired Nicola Oakie as its new director of national sales.

 

TMA releases new Level 1 operator training course

Association to work on false alarm training course and updating Level 2 in 2018
 - 
12/13/2017

VIENNA, Va.—The Monitoring Association recently announced a new Level 1 training course for operators.

TMA holds 2017 Annual Meeting in Arizona

 - 
10/25/2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The Monitoring Association held its 2017 annual meeting here, Oct. 7-11, the first annual meeting since changing the association’s name from CSAA. Included here is a brief overview of some of the educational sessions and a couple of topics that speakers addressed.

ASAP expands in Virginia

 - 
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

PITTSBURGH—Vector Security announced in early August that Newport News, Va., is now live with Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP). Newport News joins other municipalities in the state of Virginia using ASAP, such as the City of Richmond, James City County, York County, and Henrico County.

The ASAP to PSAP program, created by The Monitoring Association—formerly CSAA—and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials automates communication between alarm monitoring central stations and 911 centers.

Transmitting alarm information digitally results in improved accuracy and faster emergency responses by eliminating the need for communication over the phone between PSAP centers and monitoring centers.

Vector Security was the first alarm company to use ASAP in the City of Richmond, Va. in 2012. Vector Security assisted with implementation in Newport News by helping to perform extensive testing prior to the system going live.

“Alarm users in Newport News, including several hundred Vector Security customers, will benefit from faster and more accurate emergency response with the implementation of ASAP,” Anita Ostrowski, vice president of central station services at Vector Security, said in a prepared statement. “We hope the positive impact that ASAP will bring to Newport News will encourage other major 911 centers in the nation to adopt this technology as well.”

Ostrowski continued, “As a security provider, we seek ways to promote ASAP’s value to municipalities and public agencies, and help other alarm companies implement it for the greater good of the industry and the safety of our communities.”

Other municipalities that have implemented ASAP include Houston and High Point, TX; Washington D.C.; James City County, York County and Henrico County, Va.; Tempe and Chandler, Az.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Cary and Guilford County, N.C.; Kernersville and Durham County, N.C.; Johnston County, N.C.; Denton County and Grand Prairie, Texas; Morgan County, Ala.; Delaware County, Ohio; Bucks County, Pa.; and Highland Park, Texas.

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