Security cameras are becoming as common in our daily lives as morning coffee. The premise is that they are there for safety, whether safety of human life or of someone’s property. If you are an individual who owns a security camera or are planning on purchasing one, there are various facts about security cameras and surveillance cameras worth knowing.
Video Surveillance and security cameras have been around for longer than you may think. Although the model of the cameras change by the year, these types of cameras have been present since 1942 and gained popularity in the 60s. Furthermore, the very first CCTV camera was installed to watch the launch of the V2 rocket into space in Germany, and was developed by Germany's own engineer Walter Bruch.
Now that you know a fun fact, let us dive into facts that are practical and may prevent some sticky situations.
The location of your camera is critical, not only because it dictates what the camera will capture, whether it will be safe from vandalism and hacking, but also due to some legal implications. While the following may sound logical, it nonetheless needs stressing; there are some locations that are not allowed to be filmed. These locations include: restrooms, other people’s homes, dressing rooms, locker rooms, etc. Simply put, locations where people may be undressing is off limits.
When the conversation turns to fitting a security camera to other people’s property or rather inside other people’s property, things become more intimate, i.e. a violation of privacy. If you are uncertain whether the direction of your surveillance camera is inappropriate, consider whether you may be violating someone’s privacy, and if still in doubt, consult a lawyer. It is often said that areas that are viewable to the public are legal to film. Yet, this may result in neighbourly quarrels and even a lawsuits, so beware.
The place of work or business areas must follow the same rules as mentioned above: the filming of restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms are not permitted by law, this may even apply to break-rooms. Moreover, in order to use security cameras in a workplace, the employer must provide a legitimate reason and inform every single employee that they will be surveilled through set security cameras.
It is important to be aware of the fact that security cameras are not 100% foolproof or reliable. Security cameras can be hacked, with certain serious implications for your privacy (if security camera is used at home) or access to valuable and private information (if used at a place of work). There are ways to secure your surveillance system, and places of business should invest in proper protection systems, particularly if the security system may be capturing sensitive information.
It is also important to note that security cameras with wireless communication are at higher risk of being hacked. Nonetheless, individuals who are not prepared to sacrifice the convenience of wireless security cameras can take various easy steps to ensure the security of their security cameras.
Purchasing a security or surveillance camera begins with good intentions, yet there are facts worth knowing and exploring to ensure that good intentions do not lead to uncomfortable, or worse, illegal situations. Surveillance always comes with a responsibility.