CCTV Craze Spawns Strife Among Neighbors

      September 11, 2021 08:32

      The growing craze for CCTV cameras is leading to growing strife among neighbors who can now spy on each other around the clock.

      Private surveillance cameras have become all the rage partly because more people live alone and feel insecure or because people want to keep an eye on delivery services.

      One private security company charges around W20,000 a month to install a CCTV in front of a home and dispatch personnel in emergencies (US$1=W1,167). A company staffer said, "Demand for the service is doubling every year."

      A basic security camera that links to an app can be bought for just W50,000-60,000 online.

      But with greater surveillance comes intrusion into privacy. According to the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC), 816 complaints were received in March alone about neighbors' CCTVs, and 600 have been lodged every month since then.

      The Korea Legal Aid Corporation and Internet communities are inundated with questions from people about their privacy being invaded by a neighbor's CCTV camera. Some are voicing fears that the entry codes to their apartment doors may be recorded by their neighbors.

      So far the law does not oblige households to tell their neighbors when they install a CCTV camera. "There are no legal limitations on installing CCTVs for home security use," a PIPC staffer said.

      All the commission can do is to ask a home to shift the angle of the camera if a neighbor complains, and police are unwilling to get involved because of the legal vacuum.

      To avoid trouble with the neighbors, a security consultant said, "When installing a CCTV camera, make sure the angle captures the front of your door. If it's impossible not to capture your neighbor's door as well, it's possible to mask that part of the screen."

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