Privacy Expectations and Video Security

January 2023

Video surveillance presents unique challenges to the safety and security of our communities.

Absolute security is unachievable for many reasons.  A more reasonable goal is to achieve a level of security where residents feel protected and individuals who are intent on causing harm feel the risk of getting caught is unacceptable.  This includes reasonably dealing with the threat of criminal activity.

Unlike other security measures which can include lighting, fob systems, locking outer doors, security gates and staffing, video surveillance has a greater risk of infringing on privacy.

From a security perspective, surveillance cameras are desirable in hallways, mailrooms, elevators and other common areas.  Privacy concerns place location and directional restrictions on them:

  • The highest level of resident privacy is expected in suites. An equally high level of privacy is expected in restrooms and change rooms.  Video surveillance should not intrude on this privacy.
  • A lower level of privacy is expected in hallways, lobby, stairwells, mailroom and most amenity areas. Video surveillance is more acceptable in these spaces.

Installation of new video surveillance to ensure resident safety and security is a board decision not requiring notice to owners.  As a new item, cost is to be paid through the operating fund and not the reserve fund.

For communities with video surveillance, best practices include:

  • Ensure video surveillance is not directed toward doors of individual suites.
  • Posting of notices at building access points including the lobby informing of video surveillance on premises.
  • Establishment of policies for preservation and access to security recordings.

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