Hidden cameras, privacy, and you: a Canadian perspective

July 26, 2022
ADCv622 hidden camera interior HD

Gone are the days when hidden cameras were only seen in spy movies: nowadays small cameras are part of everyday life. Most of us carry a high-definition, extremely powerful camera in our pockets, and everyone agrees that there’s no issue in having cameras in the grocery store. But what happens when it comes hidden in the workplace or in a friend's house?

Hidden cameras, privacy, and you: a Canadian perspective

Many already use small Wi-Fi cameras as their home security camera system, and you can watch, and record live from anywhere in the world. We all want the latest Wi-Fi camera for our home surveillance, for sure. But when we are talking about the privacy of our own homes, suddenly the picture changes. In Canada, it may be a bad idea to secretly record your house, as strange as that sounds. Hidden cameras may not be the best security camera system for Canadians after all, especially if you’re installing them indoors, and in this article, we will explain why.

The Right to Privacy with home security camera systems

We all know that privacy is a right and that no recording taken by an organization from a private individual in Canada can be published for commercial purposes without that person’s consent. It’s all in the Personal Information Protection Act. In fact, for any purposes other than those described under the Act, it constitutes illegal surveillance. 
For a private person, however, the situation changes. The law regarding the use of Wi-Fi hidden cameras, the personal privacy of others, and your right to feel safe are all in dispute. But one thing is certain: if footage of your neighbor’s house interior is caught on your home security camera system, without their consent, things can get complicated. If the cameras you are using are well-hidden Wi-Fi cameras, for example, and the neighbor in question only finds out about it after the video is out, chances are you will get sued. 
That’s the confusion right there: you can have the best security camera system in the world for indoor surveillance, but not at the expense of someone else’s privacy. But cameras that are easily recognizable, those that anyone can understand as being a camera, are totally legal (if they don’t point into your neighbour's house). You are not infringing on anyone’s rights to privacy if you have a Wi-Fi security camera that is clearly shown to be a camera. In a way, people being recorded can see the camera, and if they don’t leave or say anything, they have consented to it.

Why Hidden Cameras Anyway? Just go with a slick Wi-Fi camera

Let’s say you want to set up the best security camera system. Why would you choose to set up hidden cameras? They bring no other advantage over the other ones regarding home security. Sure, you can see exactly what is going on without being noticed, but how is that useful exactly? When we are talking about home security, you want people to see your Wi-Fi security camera clearly: it will discourage potential burglars, and avoid potential litigation issues in the future.
In addition, a hidden camera will normally be in low resolution, require to be wireless, and will need a frequent battery change. Can you imagine the amount of energy it would take for such a camera to record 24/7? That’s why our smart cameras can be programmed to film only on certain events such as an alarm that is triggered, when a door opens, when movement is detected, etc.

What’s the solution to replace an interior hidden camera then?

A great example of a Wi-Fi camera that works for indoor use is the ADC-V622 (the blog image at the top of the article): it’s clearly visible but discreet, it can be rested conveniently on a desk or furniture and not look out of place. It’s not a hidden camera, so you know it’s OK. Consider something like that for your indoor surveillance, and don’t risk getting caught in this fuzzy legal gray area that we have now in Canada regarding this. 

Contact us to learn more about our Wi-Fi home security camera systems and to be protected from potential burglars.

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