Sunday, August 21, 2011

Feeling iffy about the CCTV.


I think it was sometime last year when a tenant of the building I currently live in arrived at her unit to find the door broken open and all her pricey belongings gone. That was probably the second time I'd heard of a burglary in the building, the first one being a break-in through the balcony door of a fourth-floor unit about two years earlier.

I learned about the first one because I happened to overhear a conversation between our security guard and the concerned tenant, whose unit is two doors away from mine. The second one, however, was made a big deal of by the tenant; she slid letters under all of our doors, begging for her stuff to be returned, hoping perhaps that it was one of the other tenants who had committed the crime. She also sent a letter to the building administrator asking that they help her find the perpetrator, and she gave all of us copies of that, too.

She left the building about a week later, and I haven't heard about the incident since, but when I noticed little black things being installed on the ceilings of each floor about two weeks ago, I immediately thought: CCTV. I figured it must be because of that last break-in, and that this was probably the best solution that management could come up with to deal with the problem.

I'm seriously impressed, and I never fail to think "Awesome!" whenever I walk by the monitors down at the lobby. I do feel safer, but I can't help but feel like there's a bit of an intrusion into our privacy. Some of the tenants, myself not excluded, spend some time on the stairs, on the landings and right outside our doors, and it is going to get pretty uncomfortable knowing that there's a camera on every floor watching everything we do outside our respective units before we get down to the lobby or after we come up.

The discomfort stems from the reduction of what I think is a "reasonable extension" of the privacy afforded to us within our units, but I suppose it's the compromise we have to make for security.


#9 - Somayyah Abdullah
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