Home surveillance systems debate

Home surveillance systems -privacy versus security


Home surveillance systems debate

An overview of the debate

Home surveillance systems are everywhere now.  As of October 2022, nearly half of American households with broadband internet had a home security system, networked camera, video doorbell, or combination of them. That is a lot of cameras! The data is not stored in your home, it is in the cloud. Even more frightening is that most of the time it is not encrypted with a key that only you have. The debate over privacy and security when it comes to home surveillance systems is being decided by large tech firms and those who want your data, and some times those are the “good guys”.

Another major concern is that the data is not encrypted when it is stored. This means that anyone can look and find out things about your home, friends you have over, your routine and more.

Home security Debate

Privacy is a huge price to pay for security

An important thing to remember is that when you buy a camera (whether it is a Ring Doorbell, Google Nest or other internet connected camera) you are trading your privacy for the illusion of security. I say “illusion” because crime statistics she that while they do deter minor crimes like theft and such, they don’t deter major crimes like murder.

Once your data is uploaded (which is almost instantly) it no longer is your property. There are very few safeguards on how it can be used. Rogue employees can view it. Many times law enforcement agencies are just given access to the videos, with little or no reason. Many times it is without a warrant. Sometimes they just buy the data from data brokers.

What can we do about it?

First, ask yourself: “Do I need cameras?”  If the answer is yes then get cameras that are not internet capable. Record them locally just for you to see. You can remotely view them. How to do this will be in another article.

Bringing IoT devices, and cameras are one of them, introduces many privacy and security concerns. I have touched on just a few of them to get you thinking.

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