Usually if someone said “McDonalds” and “spoliation” I would assume they were talking about the food.
McDonald’s has not destroyed any video
Perish the thought. All they did was stall until it was deleted automatically.
So it’s fine if the media sees all your other tapes, and it WOULD have been fine for the D.A. to see THIS tape, but OH MY GOD, NOT THE MEDIA!
McDonald’s, just teach your employees to jerk off onto your egg McMuffins and rewrap them INSIDE YOUR KITCHEN, and you won’t be put in this untenable position again!
Ba da bop bop ba, I’m scrubbin’ it.
Automatic deletions don’t get you off of the hook unless it happened before the subpoena… and you can show that the automatic deletion occurred consistently with other automatic deletions.
The courts tend to assume that the evidence is particularly bad for your side of a case when this happens. However, since McDonalds is a third party, I think the court should assume that health code violations with penalties in excess of the costs of 7 months of legal action must have been evident in the background.
Or maybe they caught Ronald McDonald donning the Hamburglar mask…
"It wasn’t me/us, It was the computer, therefore no one is accountable and no one is in trouble "
– cops, mcdonalds, the bank, sentencing court, your school, your car, your job, … –
This has to end: The people who USE, Configure, Program, Authorize the use of, provision, purchase or legislate the use of computers to do what a human would not be allowed to do need to be held accountable as though they themselves have done the deed.
I say this as a programmer, knowing full well that that places me in the line of liability should I be a developer who makes a tool used to abuse people.
What was the reason why McD’s withheld the CCTV recording in the first place? Surely such a fine, upstanding, law-abiding company should be only too glad to assist in bringing the perpetrator to justice? Is there more to this than meets the eye?
Just make sure to hold the right person accountable. Often it’s the person using the machine who is found responsible, even if t was designed in a confusing way and they were given bad instructions.
So Florida Man works at McDonalds?
There is no “tape.” It is all DVR now, and that McDonald’s franchisee conveniently failed to save a copy of the incident prior to the DVR system overwriting its storage, as it does, based on the number of cameras in operation, the amount of video compression used, and the DVR’s storage capacity.
Excellent point. The process by which accountability is assigned must also take into account (somehow) intentionality, and level of expected knowledge. “I was just doing what I was told”… when say pushing a button and not knowing/asking what effect that button has wouldn’t pass muster when finding later that it activated an electric shock to torture someone. Negligence in not understanding to sufficient level what actions you’re doing is not a defence. Being lied to and told that the button feeds a kitten pushes culpability to the liar. Not asking what it does assumes some level of responsibility. Knowing full well what it does assumes nearly all, though it mush also be shared with those who contrived the situation should the situation warrant it.
It would be complicated, and possibly ever changing as technologies change and as bureaucrats find loopholes. But trying to create rules to account for complicated situations has never been a problem for humans before - obvious snark pointed out as it may not be as obvious as I believe it to be -
We don’t know, because they withheld it. I can’t find an “in-universe” reason in the legal papers published in the stories.
The speculations, in rough order of likelihood, some combinable:
Attempt to stay out of the news was so successful no-one noticed extent of problem until the burning Eye of Streisand was finally upon it.
Incompetent counsel, should have coughed up for the subpoena.
Corporate smoothing of franchisee mistake enables big new franchisee mistake.
Footage reveals worse problem: employee involvement in crime at hand, drug dealing over the counter, etc.
There’s maybe a good chance that corporate (McD of Fla.) is privately at its wits end with the franchisee but locked into defending franchisee because of legal advice, the franchise agreement, etc? I would love to read actually-a-lawyer analysis of this one.
Nothing like trying to keep the fact an elderly woman was beaten at your establishment by refusing to turn over evidence and make it a breaking news story you’re doing so.
It looks to me like whatever person or legal entity was originally subpoenaed for the file is now guilty of destruction of evidence.
Before this story, I’d only heard of McDonald’s customers losing it.
There’s also the issue of the specification (I assume these still exist…?) . During my 30 year programming career, most of my specifications were written “on the back of a fag packet”. (A cigarette packet - remember those?) However, clarifications had to be documented, and situations of questionable legality needed to be ironed out. There were definitely times when we said, “Oops, no, we can’t let people do THAT!”. And other times when the boss said “no, put out a warning message, but they have to be allowed that one.”
The thing is, they HAVE the cameras and the recording system with the expectation that they just might be needed as evidence. So saving the recording isn’t some circumstance that is unforeseen by the designers. Although it is probably rare enough that the franchisee is unfamiliar with it.
If there was an armed robbery or someone took “Drive Thru” a bit too literally, they’d be combing over the video like Rick Deckard navigating an image in an Esper machine
I rather suspect they surveil their premises to protect the franchisees and corporate against liability or their minimum wage-slaves taking too many bathroom breaks, not to protect their employees or even customers.