Security, while important to condo communities, must be balanced with protection of privacy.
Condo security exists to provide protection against threats and to make the condo property safe. It plays a role in relief of fear or anxiety about personal safety. While condo corporations may be as concerned about security as condo owners, directors have an obligation to take a balanced approach to security issues.
One aspect of condo security is that privacy should be respected. This generally means condo corporations should not implement security measures that can monitor activities in individual suites. The same applies to private conversations which is one reason why security cameras generally do not record sound.
Condo corporation security measures are often limited to those intended to protect condo residents from foreseeable criminal activity. Common measures employed include security personnel and limited use of security cameras. Cameras, when utilized, are intended to protect common areas and are not used to capture images of individual condo suites.
Condo owners and residents can supplement security measures within their individual suites. This right is unlikely to extend to installation of cameras in or which monitor common areas.
Increased condo security protects individuals and the corporation. Both are protected against exaggerated claims or accusations of things that did not happen such as someone claiming to have fallen and injury on building property. Evidence is available when a crime has been committed.
Condo corporations may not have a responsibility to provide security. Condo directors have a fiduciary obligation to respect condo corporation documents including declaration and by-laws. When these documents make no mention of security measures, condo directors may choose to provide certain security services without having an obligation to do so.
Once a condo corporation chooses to provide security, there is an expectation that whatever security is provided be adequately maintained. Dummy cameras should be avoided as they provide a false sense of security. They fail to provide the service claimed and could get a condo corporation into trouble. Key fobs and key cards provide secure access and a report or record of where they were used. Combining security cameras with key fobs and key cards provides precise information on who is doing what and where.
Access to security camera recordings, and key fob/card reports should be limited to condo management, security, condo directors and law enforcement personnel. Condo residents or owners could have access to recordings or reports relating to them when formally requested and accompanying reason.