Smile, you’re on Candid Camera! The United States has about 70 million surveillance cameras in use, and the vast majority of them are at businesses. Employers use them to keep tabs on workplaces and employees, something that is perfectly legal in most places so long as workers are notified that security cameras are in use.
While employers are largely free to monitor private property as long as they can demonstrate a business need, there are some restrictions. Restrooms and locker rooms are a couple of obvious examples. Many states also forbid recording in areas with a “reasonable expectation of privacy” such as break rooms. And union activities at work generally may not be recorded due to a federal law.
Most American workplaces now have the ubiquitous sign advising that cameras are in use. But how often do employers monitor these cameras, or examine the recorded footage? The answer may surprise you.
Cameras are often meant to be a psychological deterrent rather than an all-seeing surveillance tool. The larger a business is and the more foot traffic it has, the more likely it is that video footage is only looked in on sporadically. It might only be reviewed when there is some other event that prompts it, such as a store experiencing a theft.
Security cameras also have another role that is often overlooked: documenting various mishaps and misfortunes for insurance purposes. Even when a business expects little trouble from employees or customers, having cameras constantly saving footage helps to clarify and provide evidence of exactly what happened when an insurance claim needs to be filed. It can also provide a discount on that monthly bill.
Having someone constantly monitor a camera feed, or even comb through recorded footage, is usually a fairly big business expense. That’s why you can assume that a lot of those cameras out there don’t have anyone at the other end, and much of what they record may never even be viewed by human eyes. But keeping them rolling and collecting the footage is important in case some sort of major issue should develop.
Our Closed Circuit Camera Systems (CCTV) are monitored through our central station, and you will have access to real-time activity through the internet. Talk to us at 407-603-3881 about a comprehensive system that uses cameras for your business.