Under Watchful Eyes: Security Cameras – Protective Pal or Nosey Nemesis

In today’s society, security cameras are commonplace. There are more than 770 million security cameras currently in operation worldwide, with figures only expected to rise in the coming years. Typically, video security cameras are used to assist security teams in protecting public spaces, private homes, and businesses by allowing human operators to better focus on potential threats.

However, the widespread use of security cameras is sometimes viewed as controversial. On one hand, a large number of people will argue that security cameras are effective and proactive components of modern security systems, acting to deter criminal incidents, create transparency in the assessment of unfolding events as well as produce reliable accounts of suspected crimes.

Conversely, some citizens feel a little more apprehensive towards the presence of video security systems, occasionally feeling that their use may lead to breaches of personal privacy or present avoidable opportunities for cybercriminals to collect information to be used for nefarious means. No matter which side of the debate you find yourself on, chances are your workplace will have some form of video security in operation intended to protect employees and businesses from physical harm, this article looks to explore some of the benefits and drawbacks of such systems.

The Benefits of Security Cameras

The main benefits associated with the use of video security systems typically involve supporting security teams in the protection of employees by both deterring criminal behavior and helping on-site teams better respond to potential threats in a timely manner, further benefits include:


Crime Prevention and Deterrence

Studies show that the mere presence of visible video security cameras can reduce instances of physical crime by as much as 50%, with one report finding 60% of burglars will choose to avoid targeting a property if they notice cameras and alarms are installed. 


Increased Safety and Security

Security cameras installed in the workplace can help smaller security teams ensure that employees are appropriately protected whilst at work. For example, retail staff may be protected from unruly guests with the benefit of video evidence from a PTZ security camera system used to support their case and intruders can be prevented from entering offices via video assisted detection.


Improved Access Control

Video security cameras are not limited in their use only to building security systems. Employers can also choose to operate video intercoms as a form of secure access control, ensuring only authorized employees are ever able to enter private workspaces.


Remote-access functionality 

Many security cameras now provide remote-access controls, systems that offer on-site security teams the ability to view and assess live video footage from anywhere with a secure internet connection, presenting businesses with reliable 24/7 security protection.


Suspect identification

Securing clear video evidence of criminal behavior can help law enforcement officers to identify and apprehend suspected criminals, helping to prevent businesses from being targeted by repeat offenders and acting to deter criminal groups from endangering staff.

The Drawbacks of Security Cameras

Though there are a number of clear data-backed benefits associated with the installation and operation of video security cameras, there are a few drawbacks to such systems that should be mentioned, including: 


Invasion of Privacy

Some people may feel uncomfortable or even anxious if they feel they’re being watched by security cameras everywhere they go, this is why it’s important for security teams to be transparent about their use by informing employees how installed systems function.


False Sense of Security

Relying too heavily on video security systems used to automatically detect and prevent criminal behavior may lead human teams to become a little complacent. To ensure that camera systems are effective, additional physical security policies must also be in place.



Developing and implementing a high-quality and adaptive video security camera system can come at a considerable expense, especially to smaller businesses, so it’s wise for security teams to consult with a professional security system integrator when designing new installations to ensure that their funds are being spent as efficiently as possible.


Maintenance and Technical Issues

For video security installations to remain effective, businesses and security teams must be prepared to regularly maintain physical hardware and update the system’s operating software. This can place some additional strain on smaller security teams, though by choosing to operate via a cloud-based system, updates are often applied automatically.

A Protective Pal or Nosey Nemesis?

As we’ve discussed, video security cameras can be considered invaluable to security teams and employers for their ability to both prevent criminal behavior and improve incident responses, ultimately contributing to a much safer and more secure workplace for employees and visitors.

Though there are a few downsides to their operation, most of these issues can be easily addressed through carefully considered planning and clear communication, suggesting that the benefits of a well-implemented video security system seem to outweigh any potential negatives.

Final Word

How employers and businesses choose to implement video security cameras will typically depend on the goals of their organization and the main issues that they face, though no matter how these devices are deployed teams must maintain a balance between privacy and security.

By taking the time to develop a bespoke video security system with input from employees and professional security system integrators, it’s entirely possible to create an effective installation that doesn’t negatively impact employee’s feelings of personal privacy, ensuring that all active video security camera systems can be considered protective pals rather than nosey nemeses.


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