Good home security or an invasion of privacy?
The shrinking cost of technology is creating a new headache for residents, with home security cameras making their way into our neighbourhoods in big numbers. Watching their own front door is fine, a good way to let would-be robbers know they’re prepared. But what about cameras that capture the goings-on at your house next door or across the street? Do you want your neighbour recording who comes and goes at your place, or be forced to draw the curtains to every part of your home?
According to a report Sydney’s Sutherland Council now has these cameras in almost half its homes. Security systems featuring night vision, four cameras, motion detectors and a TV monitor can be bought and installed for less than $2000. If they capture anything interesting of course, it’s a short upload to YouTube and your evening of bad loud music with vacuum-cleaning in your underwear goes viral…
Here in inner-Brisbane they used to be a rare site, those wall-mounted CCTV systems peering at you outside a front door. Apartment buildings have had them for years and we have a large number recording public places around inner-Brisbane (more than you could guess). But as their number grows in our residential streets, and it’s happening now, how do we prevent this legitimate home protection turning into a sick invasion of privacy?
A loss of some privacy is a part of the price of admission to inner-city living. How much is reasonable and what, if anything, can we do to control the problem?