Starting Monday, May 18th, 2015, a small test group of Toronto Police will begin using bodycams. These small cameras will be situated on the police officers and will be turned on throughout the day, whenever the police officer is in contact with a civilian.
Cameras are a fantastic way to document activities, in regards to both the police officer and the civilian. With video, there is a much smaller grey area in regards to events. In light of the various situations throughout North America in regards to police officers and the general public, body cameras are a fantastic tool to create a great check and balance system.
All camera surveillance systems, whether a body camera or a home security video system, provide video evidence. This can be used to help put away criminals or to prove innocence. There is no better form of evidence that video.
Certain groups are worried that bodycams will infringe on certain individual rights.
At Think Protection, we understand how difficult a job it is to be a police officer and are supporters of the Toronto Police Department, who we believe provide ongoing top quality work throughout the community. Bodycams are a great tool to help the police do their job effectively, as it reinforces positive behavior, as all parties involved in any police situation know they may be filmed.
To read more about the Toronto Police bodycam test, here is a link to a recent article in the Toronto Star – https://on.thestar.com/1Hm9k6u
Nest is a product line which was purchased by Google, that includes a thermostat and Dropcam video surveillance system. These products are regarded as well designed and quite functional. While they’re not cheap, the products are considered two of the more advanced on the market.
Each product is fairly easy to set up and aesthetically nice. They each have automation features and are far more advanced than the vast majority of security products in service.
So if the products are well designed and provide a quality service, what’s the problem?
The problem is that Nest is a Google product. This sounds like a good thing right? The truth is that Google is in the home automation/security space for one reason, and that’s to get information about Nest users. This means that all actions through Nest are tracked by Google. This data is of significant value to Google as it lets them understand the users living patterns. This invasion of privacy (and it is an invasion of privacy) allows Google to then use that data to create a full profile of their customers. They can then market to their customers since by understanding and documenting how the customer lives, they can sell that data to retailers.
Data about how customers live their lives is incredibly valuable to a retailer. To understand how they live at home gives you an insight that is invaluable. But as a Nest client, do you want businesses to know how you’re living at home? Do you want them to know what you’re doing? How many times you enter and exit your home? How you heat/cool your home? When you’re home and when you’re away? And do you want a company then selling that data?
A quality home automation company that is based on security, understands that customer data is not to be sold. They treat their customers with respect and will never sell any information to a third party.
Be wary of using a Nest Google system. There are other options at a lower price being offered by companies that will never sell your data. More people need to more cognizant of how certain companies operate and be protective of “big brother”.
Remember the “good old days” when home security wasn’t a concern. Doors were left unlocked and if they had to be locked, a spare key was hidden under the doormat or plant pot. Kids played outside without any thoughts of dangers beyond them scraping their knees. Break-in’s were few and far between.
My how things have changed.
Well the truth is, back then there were indeed the security risks all around us, we as a culture though were just less aware. Now we know what to look out for, and by having this information we can protect ourselves.
Whether we want to protect a house, apartment, or even a cottage – here a few suggestions for things to keep in mind when it comes to security.
Locks and keys
Homeowners should have a deadbolt on all exteriors doors. If the locks have not been changed since you moved in, you may want to think about getting the locks re-keyed, as the previous owners may still have access.
Make sure you can see who is at your door before you open it. Door viewers or installation of peepholes can help you to identify visitors.
Check to see if these doors slide or swing open. Make sure that if they slide, they can’t be easily “popped” out of the track.
Timers are great to ensure that lights are on or off when you choose, whether you are home or not. If your home is dark and vacant looking when you are away, you could be putting your home at risk.
New security products
There are always new security products being introduced to the market, such as a new digital door viewer that can actually take a picture of the person outside your door, as soon as they ring the bell, regardless if you are home or not. And if you are home, you can view your entranceways with a 3.5” LCD screen inside.