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danieljustice's profile

Sunday, March 8th, 2020 2:58 AM

Camera - Privacy Shutter Setting Clarification

I've confused myself so I'm hoping someone that has monitoring and use the iOS APP can help.  

I hope I can explain this without confusing you all too:  

In the iOS app setting for the camera's privacy shutter there are 3 sliders, one for each arm mode. The toggles are to the left which seem to indicate OFF and to the right where the toggle is now in blue, which would indicate ON.  BUT.. the setting instructions only mention the states of Open & Closed.  So does ON (to the right) mean the privacy shutter is being USED in that mode or does it mean it's OPEN?  I can see where ON can be interpreted to mean both the shutter is being USED (ie: CLOSED) and the shutter is OPEN.  Basically, I want the shutter to be CLOSED when they system is OFF and OPEN when the system is in HOME or AWAY.  So which do I need to toggle to the right? OFF or HOME & AWAY?

Ok, I need some Tylenol now.

1.3K Messages

4 years ago

In the Android app, when the respective slider for that mode (off or home or away) is to the left it means the privacy shutter will be Closed in that mode. When it is to the right (and blue) it means the privacy shutter will be Open in that mode.

I'd expect the iOS function to be same/similar.

103 Messages

Thank you for the clarification.  That's the exact opposite of how I guessed it worked.  Much appreciated!

1 Message

1 year ago

Agree that the app settings for this are completely confusing and I’ve had the shutters closed when they were supposed to be open. Simplisafe, you should check this out and revise it.

3 Messages

1 year ago

Confirming your confusion. This is a failure in the User Interface.

A Privacy Shutter slider that is set to "On" would reasonably suggest that "privacy is on, or activated," or that "the privacy shutter has been activated, or enabled." One would expect that this setting does not monitor/capture video.

The exact opposite is true. Setting Privacy Shutter to "On" turns the camera on (as can be seen by the camera lights turning on), and motion is monitored/captured.

This setting should instead be labeled "Camera" or "Capture." When the setting is On the camera is active, and video is being captured.

The solution is either to change the setting label, or to edit the text to better explain the exact behavior of this slider.

1 Message

1 year ago

I think it’s meant to be confusing. I’m no conspiracy theorist but I have a feeling it’s meant to be confusing in the hopes you’ll keep the privacy shutter off so that way you can be monitored. An article I read from news week about a year ago was about the possibility of local and state governments endorsing certain security company’s to adopt certain technologies that would allow for eaves dropping on your private activity. Which of course would be unconstitutional, however, if you’re told about being monitored by them and given the opportunity to opt out- hence the privacy shutter setting, then it’s kissing the line of legality. So you get the option for privacy but only if u understand the riddle. Misunderstanding the language isn’t their fault it’s yours. I just installed my SimpliSafe only because it was free… surprise surprise… and when I installed the camera and saw the weird settings that article popped into my mind. Bingo.. I think we just found the security system they’re endorsing.. so while it can be useful under a robbery or home invasion and if you don’t have anything to hide then go ahead and use it but if you might be a little less than perfect and don’t want cops or investigators literally watching your every move in the privacy of your home where u think privacy is expected, then maybe close the shutter or keep it where it’s not gonna show your business.. mine is in the basement. Which is the best place for it because that’s probably the best place for somebody to break in and it’s an old dirty basement. Nobody goes down there. 

Community Admin


2.8K Messages


We believe that privacy and security goes hand-in-hand. The video from your cameras is encrypted and is only accessible to you - not by anyone on the SimpliSafe staff and definitely not by anyone outside of SimpliSafe. The Privacy Shutter is added peace of mind because you'll know for sure on your side you aren't being recorded. 

1 Message

Well, then, “emily_s,” why don’t you go ahead and confirm or refute the deductions of the people trying to figure out SimpliSafe’s ambiguous setting language while you’re at it?  That is really the question being addressed, and not officially answered, in this thread.

Community Admin


2.8K Messages

@TD137447​ When the Privacy Shutter is On, that means that the camera's lens is covered and it will not record when it detects motion. If the Privacy Shutter is Off, the camera's lens will be shown and it will record when it detects motion. 

136 Messages

7 months ago

The privacy shutter "off" means the shutter is open, meaning the camera will record in that alarm state when motion is detected.

This is stone ax simple to verify - walk over and look at the camera, its obvious if the shutter is open or closed...


1 Message

5 months ago

krstrick is right.  You can stand in front of the camera and change the Shutter settings and see is close.  I never noticed before.  But when in Privacy, there is a silver cover vs. the 'black hole.'

TD 137447 nicely but firmly reeled in Emily to address the topic...clarification of a confusing subject.

Thanks to krstrick, you can use the process of elimination to achieve your desired settings.

Fortunately, I've had my privacy settings correct (privacy when I'm home) all along.  But I changed ISPs yesterday and have had to go through everything to get all hooked up and working again.  That is when I revisited the shutter settings and the twilight zone.

I now have SimpliSafe mobile app v. 2100.27.0 which I just upgraded from 2100.26.0, to see if different.  I have iOS version.  The subject settings are the same. (navigation changes some)

Having established that, my application does not use ON nor OFF in reference to shutter settings.  It is Open or Closed.

Amazingly, this does not clarify or simplify which you should select to achieve your desired privacy setting.  The selection, regardless of which, appears to produce the opposite security goal.

Since 'closing' my shutters today for OFF (when system is unarmed) and Home, my cameras have been going off like crazy as my wife and I move around the house.  That's what led me to this forum and thread.

I checked my timelines going back months, and I had the privacy set right all this time.  Dumb luck I guess.  I had no camera notifications. 

This gives a lot of credence to Shanbender's theory.

I have now gone through my cameras and set them as follows:

Off - Privacy Shutter - Open

Home - Privacy Shutter - Open

Away - Privacy Shutter - Closed

I also confirmed shutter closure as krstrick indicated.  They are all closed now.  And I have not gotten any motion detection notifications, which is my goal. 

But the confusion remains.  My results should not be expected when set as I have the shutters now.

I just have to ask Emily why my camera shutter is closed when it's open?  LOL


Community Admin


2.8K Messages

@rcdunretWe updated the labels of the Privacy Shutter's toggle in the mobile to "Open" or "Closed" to add a little more clarity of how the Privacy Shutter acts. However, our internal teams have been made aware that the Privacy Shutter has recently been behaving the opposite as labeled in the app. They're currently working on fixing this.

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