Security cameras are often the first line of defense against potential intrusion of a home or business.
One city in Texas (TERRELL HILLS, TX) has come up with a way to potentially make camera surveillance even more effective at solving and (once criminals learn about it) deterring crime.
The Terrell Hills Police Department have asked homeowners with security cameras to voluntarily register their cameras, as a way for police to know whom to ask for footage when a crime has taken place nearby.
At the moment, it is unclear what information will be requested upon registration (will the Department ask for the internet addresses of private cameras, or simply the physical location?)
A simple list of the street addresses of private security cameras could significantly reduce the amount of time it would take police investigators to zero in on a burglar and solve a crime.
On the other hand, registration and maintenance of a list of camera IP addresses could potentially leave homeowners and business owners vulnerable by increasing the risk for cyber crimes in the form of attacks against internet cameras with security vulnerabilities. Homeowners and business owners may also wonder whether having the internet addresses of their networked cameras in a police database might compromise their own privacy or make them particularly vulnerable to police surveillance.
If configured properly, this program could not only help catch more criminals more quickly, but also help police better understand crime and motive. However, regardless of the program’s potential benefits, if you live in Terrell Hills and are considering participating in the program, we strongly urge you to fully protect your privacy by providing only the street address location of your cameras, and to avoid providing internet address information to the Police Department if asked.
For information about the Terrell Hills security camera registration program, you can contact Assistant Chief Foley at [email protected].