Video Doorbells And Privacy Maintaining A Balance

Dated: 10/18/2019

Views: 69

Image title

Advancing technology has played a large part in improving home security in recent years. This is due, in part, to the rising popularity of the Internet of Things, or IoT; these “Things” are devices that connect via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless networks to perform various functions without the need to be hard-wired or attached to a computer. Security-focused IoT devices include things like window monitors, smart door locks and video doorbells – even security lighting.

While these devices provide a number of benefits, including remote monitoring and automation features, some have their drawbacks, as well. Video doorbells, in particular, are being called out over potential privacy concerns. If you’ve been thinking of getting a video doorbell, here are a few things that you should consider, to ensure a good balance between your home security and your neighbors’ privacy.

How to Video Doorbells Work?

Video doorbells use motion detectors to sense when there is someone around the area where the doorbell is installed. This activates the camera, even before the doorbell itself is rung. The process is automatic; many mistakenly believe that the video feed from the devices have to be activated through interaction with the doorbell, but that isn’t the case. Depending on the model and how it’s being used, the visitor who activated the doorbell is either recorded or the video stream is sent live to an associated app. In some cases, video is both streamed and recorded for later review.

What Privacy Concerns Exist?

One of the big privacy concerns comes from what some users are doing with the video recorded by their doorbells. While the recordings are intended for security purposes, some owners choose to upload the videos (or still images from those videos) to websites where others can see exactly who has been visiting their house. Typically, this is done with the purpose of mocking the visitors without their knowledge or consent. In some cases, they may not even realize that they’re being recorded.

Even without sharing the videos, some video doorbells record a large enough area that they also record portions of neighbors’ properties when activated. This creates a similar concern to the installation of standard security cameras that might target a neighbor’s property. This could cause significant privacy problems if too much of the neighbor’s property is visible and may even open the owner up to action based on the claim that they are recording what the neighbor is doing.

On top of this, some video doorbell owners are also becoming increasingly nervous about their devices as the video doorbell manufacturer Ring has partnered with law enforcement agencies in some areas. While the police do not have unrestricted access to video feeds, they can send out messages requesting images or footage from doorbell owners in the area where a crime was committed. Though the request is voluntary, it has still led to unease among users who don’t want their devices used for neighborhood surveillance purposes.

Privacy-Related Restrictions

As a result of these concerns, some homeowners’ associations and local ordinances have targeted video doorbells. In some cases, they aren’t allowed at all, while in others, only certain brands can be installed, which are known to have a narrow focus. A failure to abide by these restrictions can lead to tickets, action by the homeowners’ association and in some cases, even legal action or eviction.

Finding a Balance

Finding a balance between home security and the privacy rights of your neighbors isn’t always easy. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for compromise, however. There are professionals who can help you find the right video doorbell to meet your needs without sacrificing your neighbor’s rights to stay private. Sign up for a free HomeKeepr account so we can match you with a security-minded pro who can help you find the perfect device to achieve that privacy/security balance.


Contact a GroupWatson Agent TODAY for Professional Advice & Expert Direction.

~Experience the GroupWatson Difference~

Call or Email Today!
972.370.1775|BuyOrSell@GroupWatson.com

*GROUPWATSON'S FEATURED LISTING OF THE WEEK*

3837 Beaumont Ln, Plano TX 75023


Image title

Blog originally posted here.

Blog author image

Tammy Watson

Scott and Tammy Watson are the Owners and Team Leads for GroupWatson, Keller Williams. With 47 years of combined real estate experience, a "Client First Philosophy" is exemplified by providing excepti....

Latest Blog Posts

Video Doorbells And Privacy Maintaining A Balance

Advancing technology has played a large part in improving home security in recent years. This is due, in part, to the rising popularity of the Internet of Things, or IoT; these “Things” are

Read More

Real Estate Investing 101

So you’ve decided you want to invest in real estate. That’s great! It’s no secret that real estate is a great way to generate income without a whole lot of risk. As real estate agents, we work

Read More

3 Reasons You Need To Get A Permit

It all started with a shelf.You just bought your home and, though it needed a little surface work, you were pretty proud of it. It was yours, to do with as you wanted. So the first thing you did was

Read More

Interesting Facts About The State Fair Of Texas

Fall is FINALLY here in Texas, and that means it’s State Fair time! Just like the Lone Star State itself, the State Fair of Texas does everything BIG. Here are some fun and interesting facts about

Read More