The Ethics of using Security Camera in your Home or Business
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Surveillance cameras are everywhere these days, from your local greengrocer to a large shopping mall. Many people are installing them in their homes and offices for protection against theft. So, why do people object? The main reason is that many people feel that it’s an invasion of their privacy.
However, consideration must be given to the common benefit the public and the business owner enjoy. For example, the supermarket would have even more theft without security cameras, resulting in higher prices for everyone. Both parties win, but there is also another side, which may cause you to think. Stores can use cameras to collect data on which customers buy which foods, information which is then used to store into a database for marketing purposes, without your permission.
Instances where technology can help the consumer include cases when the use of smart cards for public transport for example, provides proof that a card was used by them if a problem should arise. Also, their use on toll roads enables the operators to check if you have paid or if your account is in arrears, or you don’t have the necessary tag device installed in your car.
Cameras used by councils in the street can be lifesavers, especially if they are monitored. The Police can see if someone is being attacked, and send the police to intervene, or stop a brawl in its tracks. The footage from Council cameras can also be used in court for evidence in the event of a fall or car accident. Therefore public cameras can be deemed to be usefull for the greater good of all concerned.
It’s certainly a case of “if you’re law abiding, you shouldn’t mind”.
Using CCTV at Home
More people than ever are installing security cameras in their home to protect their family and belongings. Inside your own home you don’t need consent to use cameras. After all, this is your home, and if a person steps inside, they are to abide by your rules.
However, you are not allowed to use any footage to put on the internet or sell, for example. Any footage can only be used by the Police in order to catch thieves. Also, it’s not acceptable to put cameras in a bathroom or toilet. If you are renting out your home it’s not legal to put cameras inside the house, without consent of the renters. Outside cameras should cover just your own driveway, yard or garden, and not point in a direction or angle which would include your neighbour’s property.
Please note that individual states or councils may have their own bylaws which cover the use of security cameras.
Using CCTV in your Business
There are far more rules that apply when you install security cameras in and around your business premises, especially if the public has access to areas covered by the cameras. Using cameras as a deterrent against robbery in your workplace is sensible; they often prevent crime and keep your employees safe.
Cameras both inside and out can be extremely useful to monitor activity of both visitors and staff. For the public, there must be a prominent notice advising that the premises are monitored by CCTV.
You must inform all staff that cameras have been installed, and document their location. They must be told in plain language so that people whose English isn’t their first language can understand. In no circumstances should cameras be installed in rest rooms, changing rooms or toilets.
Installing a camera to monitor the till is sensible, and can prevent loss of profits that have proven many a company’s downfall in the past. Outside cameras can monitor little used places such as a bin storage area.
If you have an Australian or South Pacific company and would like free friendly advice to cover your premises
please give Hugh a call on 1300 852 400 or visit www.footprintsecurity.com.au You will find more articles to protect your home, family and business.
Footprint Security imports CCTV Security Systems and Cameras directly from overseas manufacturers, and sells online. They are based on the Gold Coast, but retail Australia wide, including Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Darwin. They have also supplied customers in PNG, Fiji and Samoa.
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