BUTTE, Mont. - Butte-Silver Bow officials told NBC Montana multiple employees are under investigation after a motion-activated camera was discovered at the Health Department.
According to the county, the employees were reportedly trying to catch paranormal activity. The incident has raised concerns about potential privacy violations.
A trail camera is reportedly the type of camera found at the Health Department. It is used for scouting purposes, is motion activated, and takes pictures in the day or night.
NBC Montana first learned about the camera set up in the Heath Department from an anonymous letter sent to our studio. It alleged that multiple employees had put at least one camera in an office.
"The location of the camera that was recovered was in an unoccupied area where patients or clients were not entering," said Chief Executive Matt Vincent.
Vincent told us the county's human resource office is investigating the matter, and they are taking it very seriously.
"Because it was at the Health Department," explained Vincent, "there's HIPAA requirements, Health Information Privacy Protection Act, that certainly raises it to a much higher level of concern."
Vincent said it doesn't appear that the camera was placed in the department maliciously or criminally.
"It's totally unprofessional and inappropriate," he said. He called it a foolish decision that puts the Health Department and the local government in a compromised position.
We wanted to know more about these types of trail cameras.
"When anything walks by it will snap," said Donald Bromley, a Bob Ward's salesman. "They're like a normal camera, motion triggered. They will take night pictures."
He explained that some of the newer versions of these cameras can capture audio and video, but most just take still pictures.
Vincent explained the police are investigating whether the found camera captured any audio or video, and that they are still getting the details.
"There will be appropriate measures taken depending on what we find when the investigation is concluded," Vincent said.
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