If the folks at Liberty Safe were hoping that their new policies allowing customers to remove the factory-set access code from the company’s “secure database” would quell the furor over the release of one gun owner’s code to federal law enforcement officials, they got a rude awakening on Tuesday when Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced his office is now formally investigating Liberty Safe’s policies and practices.
At issue, according to a press release from Bailey’s office, is whether Liberty Safe “fully discloses” to customers when and why it allows third parties to access a customer’s safe “when either the customer’s consent is not expressly given or the disclosure is not legally required.”
“In an era where the federal government weaponizes our national security apparatus against political opponents, the last thing we need is for a private company to sell out its fellow Americans under pressure from federal bureaucrats,” said Attorney General Bailey. “I am using every tool at my disposal to protect the rights of all Missourians. That’s why my office is opening this investigation to ensure Liberty Safe is not deceiving its customers in its terms of service.”
Bailey has filed a civil subpoena in an attempt to get those answers, and if Liberty Safe wants to try to regain the trust of its customer base it should be extremely cooperative with Bailey’s investigation. As it is, the company’s recent policy changes are a big step in the right direction, but still doesn’t explain why it took a national outcry to give customers the ability to opt-out of having their access code kept on file, or why it was turning over access codes to law enforcement even without a subpoena. As the company announced last week:
We listen to our customers and update our products and practices in response to their evolving needs. Today, we are announcing a change that empowers our customers with greater control over their information: Effective immediately, existing customers can visit www.libertysafe.com/pages/combination-removal and fill out the form to have records of their access codes expunged. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a feature that gives every new customer this option when registering their safe.
This change allows customers to take control of how their information is stored and protected. We understand that many of our customers are willing to assume the responsibility of safeguarding their own combination. While those who opt out of our data storage process will have limited recourse in case of a lost combination, we respect their choice and are here to support them in the way that’s best for them.
We have also revised our policies around cooperation with law enforcement. Going forward we will require a subpoena that legally compels Liberty Safe to supply access codes but can only do so if these codes still exist in our system. Our mission is to protect what matters most to our customers, whether that be valuables or privacy.
It is our pledge to continue to make excellent products that serve gun owners everywhere.
Those were the right moves to make, though they should have come long ago. I don’t know what Bailey’s investigation will turn up as far as its current terms of service, but I’m definitely curious to see what, if anything, he comes up with going forward.