Security vs Privacy: Sharing Doorbell Camera Video with Police
Police departments in the US are asking you to register your doorbell camera and solve crimes, but should you? Security vs Privacy, here’s what to consider.
Now, police departments are asking us to help them solve more crime in our areas by registering our Ring systems. The doorbell camera company has partnered with 400 departments around the US. From Dallas to Chicago, people are signing up. But should we? Let’s look at the pros and cons of this security vs privacy issue.
The Rise of Ring
Once a “SharkTank failure”, Ring was recently purchased by Amazon for $1B. Ring and camera systems like it have grown in popularity almost overnight.
When the camera spots something, it sends an alert. You can then check the 4K video out in real-time, speak and listen through the camera or view footage later. The range of vision on these cameras often extends to the street, giving greater perspective and the possibility of capturing a neighborhood crime.
Doorbell Cameras as Crime Fighting Tools
You might recall back in January 2019, right here in Salinas, CA, video caught a man licking a doorbell for hours. It’s not hard to find many strange things captured on doorbell cameras like this. But what about “real” crime?
- In April 2019, a camera in Toronto, Ontario caught a hitman shooting a woman with a crossbow as she opened her door
- In June 2019, camera footage caught a woman leaving a crime scene in a stolen vehicle outside the home of a 72-year-old man who was found murdered
- In 2018, footage from an earlier burglary helped police catch a murder suspect
With an estimated 22 million homes in the US expected to have cameras by 2020, It’s easy to see how registering our cameras with police department may help prevent and solve more crime. Your camera becomes a virtual neighborhood watch. But what are the privacy issues?
Security vs Privacy: The Cons of Sharing Your Doorbell Camera Video
Once you share the video, they can do whatever they want with it, even if it caught you, a family member or neighbor/friend doing something.
Anything that can be used can be abused. As more homes get video, some communities may pass laws requiring homeowners to share footage. If we fail to elect trustworthy leaders, we could end up in a world where everyday actions are recorded on doorbell cameras and drones to be used against us.
More and more we will find ourselves on someone’s cameras 24/7. Even if we choose not to opt in, those around us will.
In other words, we can find reasons that sharing video may not be the best idea. But only you can say if the cons outweigh your desire to prevent and solve crime. Either way, setting up home and business security cameras can keep you safer. Contact us to explore this and other business security options.