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The Use of Hidden Cameras for Surveillance

August 29, 2014

The use of hidden cameras for surveillance has become a widespread phenomena the public is beginning to more clearly recognize.  Query whether such use constitutes a potential invasion of privacy but that issue can be addressed at a later date.

One merely has to turn on the T.V. news to note the use of cameras to film occurrences.  A few examples.  A street accident evidencing vehicles colliding, useful in proving potential fault.  Cameras prevalent in business establishments picturing criminal activity, which help the identification of a violator.  T.V. provides a nearly instantaneous view of an event.  The public, particularly watching T.V., is asked to provide identity tips when a crime has occurred, which is often connected with rewards resulting in successful apprehension and prosecution.  Cameras are located on outdoor poles at corners and in the middle of the block, in business establishments, elevators, hallways, condos, apartment houses, parking garages, parking lots, and a wide variety of other locations.  Frequently, signage appears stating the area where a camera is located is "under surveillance".  The rationale for cameras is obviously deterrence and identification.  Where crime is a concern, as a suggestion, business associations or groups of businessmen in specific areas might consider setting up cameras jointly to provide the best locations.  It is a sad commentary on society such surveillance has become part of life.

Another consideration.  Cameras film everyday life, people walking or strolling together, and in certain civil legal cases, such as domestic relations matters, such films are used for a variety of purposes in the discovery process.

How does this development impact members?  Members are targets because so many deal with cash receipts.  Recognized is not every area where members maintain a business has such problems, but, wherever relevant as a potential deterrent, a suggestion might be to affix signage stating "this area is under surveillance".  All of us have observed such signs erected in numerous places.  Unfortunately, society's need to address such issues.

This article was written by: Norman P. Zarwin, Esquire and published in the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Pennsylvania and Delaware magazine. 


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