Property Grunt

Monday, March 21, 2005

Keycards: A really bad idea?

Grunt had a busy weekend and just wants to sleep. But fear not, I have the strenghth to blog.

NY1 recently reported a revolt by tenants at Peter Cooper Village. By March complex will replace all locks with an electronic photo keycard. The residents consider an invasion of privacy.

Assemblyman Steve Sanders sums it up

“Not only do they want to have this electronic system with your picture on it,” said Assemblyman Steven Sanders, “they want to know what time and what day you enter your own building. They want to know it, and they want to keep track of it. They want to store it. And I say it’s not their damn business.”

There are obvious advantages to having this system in place for the property management company. First it would cut the cost of replacing and storing keys since all information would be placed on cards. This is one of the reasons why the majority of hotels have instituted the system. The Assemblyman is quite correct that it will allow the property management company to keep track of their tenants. This would prove advantageous if the tenant was illegally subletting and the management company needed proof to show that somone else was residing there. If a tenant needed a new key, they would simply have to request another card without having to go a locksmith.

However this is not a full proof system. As the blackout of 2003 demonstrated anything that has an electronic power source is vulnerable. Key card systems are not fool proof since they can be accessed by hackers or personnel with bad intentions. Which may work in the resident's favors because their personal security is being place in the hands of the management. If something were to go wrong with the system management would be ones that would be held liable.