A neighbor wins a privacy dispute over a smart doorbell and camera: gadgets

A neighbor complained that I put a CCTV sticker on the front door.

I explained that I don’t have cameras, but I intended to put some up for our common safety, no sound, they would be glad to have a screen in their house showing the same cameras, I would even pay for that. The sticker was a necessary legal device that told people I had cameras if I ever did. I professionally install CCTV as part of my job.

They made a divine noise with almost everyone they could.

I took off the sticker and kept all the cameras only in the house.

Rolling for 3 months, the local kids crushed her with stones and sent trash through the mailbox and she expects me to help her with them.

Sorry, love, I have no proof of who these children are and what they did. I can’t act on that.
You didn’t want a camera, remember?

All my previous neighbors, in previous houses, without any problems. I informed them, I had clear markings, the cameras were set up correctly, I would gladly give them a feed and often show them the feed even if they didn’t just ask to avoid a conflict. Never any soundtrack, etc. Etc., and later they actually asked me if I could tilt them a little more after the houses were broken into on both sides, and none of them had footage.

I had footage of burglars in their car checking houses (look at my personal driveway). Apparently they went down the road, house by house, on both sides. They stopped in front of my neighbor’s house. Notes taken. They took one look at my house – with CCTV, alarm, security door, etc. – and they didn’t stop, they just drove quickly to the next one, stopped there (and I guess those were notes, but that wasn’t in sight of my camera). Then they did it – according to the police – all the way down the road.

The burglars broke into both of those neighbors, without cameras, within days.

And, unfortunately, there is no identification data. The car was sideways facing the camera, you don’t see the license plate and you don’t see any detail of the driver or co-driver, only they made some sort of note.

I’m not claiming that they “stop” crime, they don’t. However, they make discreet commission more difficult. Both burglar neighbors just jumped the fence, smashed the back window and cleaned them up. With cameras, alarms, and motion sensor activation, you’d have alerts on your phone, recordings, big noisy sirens (pointless, but that might repel them a bit), and so on. As soon as they jumped the fence.

I’m not saying that cameras can’t be abused, they can. But these abuses are recorded for posterity as recorded evidence, which seems a bit silly for abuse and exploitation. No, your neighbor should not be filming your garden, but they could just as easily hear your conversations in the garden in person as a camera.

The only place I set up the sound are the lobbies and porches. This is because of an incident I experienced when a guy knocked on my door claiming it was “from your electricity supplier” and talking about “necessary work” and “upgrading your meter”. He wanted me to insert the key into my meter (which would transfer my supply to his power company!), And he had absolutely nothing to do with my power company. It was pure fraud, I yelled at him and sent him things to pack, but by then he had already done several other people in my street, including old women who “didn’t want to make a fuss”.

It is almost impossible to prove that he said this without sound. With sound, it’s a prima facie scam and I would file a lawsuit against him and his company. Instead, they were “continued” and a lawsuit was filed against his company.

But there is no need for that sound to record anything behind the front door, in either direction.

I will gladly protect my property and – with their permission – my neighbor at my own expense and inconvenience. But I will not do anything that would invade the privacy of others. I have live cameras. I can log in from my phone. I literally look into the kitchen camera before I remotely turn on the stove to make sure there is no fire hazard. If the fire alarm still goes on, it’s connected to my phone, I can silence it, I can see the cameras, and so on. Etc. Etc.

I don’t use cloud services for that. No need. All devices are on isolated networks and cannot talk except through my own networking arrangements. Even manufacturers can’t snoop on my cameras because I want the same privacy as others.

But cameras are now such an incredibly useful and important part of your home, even if they’re never pointed inward, don’t record sound, aren’t HD, or are at an imperfect angle, so it’s silly to abuse them – because that will only end up reducing them efficiency if a new law is passed.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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