Many organizations are using security cameras in their public spaces, but they may not have a good policy in place concerning their use. Security cameras are reasonably inexpensive, easy to install, and can be placed anywhere there is a somewhat strong WIFI signal. Before installing security cameras, there are some essential questions to consider. Answers to these questions can be a good start for establishing the purpose and use of security cameras.
What are the reasons for putting up the cameras? It’s appropriate if the purpose for putting up security cameras is for the safety of citizens and the protection of public property. Vandalism and theft are real concerns in any community, and cameras are an important key to identifying and preventing perpetrators.
Do people need to know they’re being recorded? It can be helpful, but it’s not required to have signage informing people that security cameras are in use.
Who will have access to the camera footage? Before installation, the decision should be made as to who will be allowed to view the camera footage. Only authorized persons should be able to view what has been recorded. No footage should be released by anyone other than the authorized persons.
How long should the footage be stored? Keeping footage for six months or longer may be useful, but at least 30 days is a good policy for storing the recorded data. Stored footage can amount to a lot of data if there is continuous recording 24/7. Many cameras are activated by motion, so the footage may be edited to delete clips when the camera has recorded a passing cat or blowing leaves.
Where can cameras be located? Cameras should not be placed in areas that would threaten a person’s right to privacy. Cameras can be placed in public reception areas, entrance doors, and other areas open to the public.
Should cameras be used to monitor employees? Security cameras should not be used to monitor employees’ activities. Ensure employees that the cameras will not be used to measure productivity.
Security cameras are a valuable tool for even small organizations and, when used properly, can prevent losses and deter criminal activity.