Video doorbells, which incorporate video recordings along with audio and electronic notifications when anyone nears a door, are a growing concern in high-rise communities.
A video doorbell can record video and audio every time someone enters a hallway. It can be directed on another family’s door monitoring comings and goings of residents and guests, and can record activities inside a suite when their door is open.
Video doorbells were created for use in single-family homes and never intended for high-rise communities. They monitor common areas and activities of neighbours thus their use is under control of the condo board. Video doorbells create a conflict between one person’s desire for security and another person’s desire for privacy.
Audio and video picked up by a video doorbell goes to an electronic device and is saved. It can be retransmitted, stolen (hacked) or posted on Facebook.
Condo boards can prohibit or control use of video doorbells before conflicts arise. Once installed, some owners may refuse to remove them, particularly when there are security concerns. If allowed, the board should establish guidelines for their use. It may be that all owners on a floor need to agree to allow them, or that they can only be used when there is no door on the opposite side of the hall. It may be impossible to point a video doorbell without also monitoring another’s home and activities across the hall.
Video doorbells have become popular because of their effectiveness at protecting the home and personal property. Properly used, they can be an effective security precaution in communities where there are security concerns.