Keep in mind that people behave differently the moment that they detect that they are being observed. When you see people in public who are previously notified that they are on closed circuit TV camera, there are changes in behavior. People know that they are being recorded and whatever actions they perform might land them in legal hot water.
This is the main selling point of CCTV security systems. The belief is once you post a sign that people are being recorded and there are lots of CCTV units all over the place, people would be on their best behavior. Well, this assumes too much because it assumes that people are rational. It assumes that people make decisions based on logic and reason.
In many cases, unfortunately, this is too much of an assumption to make. People do get drunk. People do react to peer pressure. People do all sorts of irrational things. So, just because there are CCTV recording units all over the place, it does not necessarily mean that people would treat each other in the best way possible. That might be too much to expect.
Now, if you were to add another layer of incentive or disincentive, depending on how you look at it, to the security situation, the results might be different. I am of course talking about recording. It is one thing to have CCTV cameras; it is another to let people know that the footage would be actively recorded. It may seem that this is a good idea. It may seem that it may have a positive effect, but again the jury is still out regarding any long-term positive changes in behavior.
Keep this in mind when it comes to door peephole cameras. You probably have heard of these types of cameras. You might have even considered installing them in your own premises. They make a lot of sense because they help you monitor people who come to your door without you having to be physically present. They also enable you to get a clear view. You do not have to rely on how good your eyesight is.
With that said, you also have to ask yourself if it makes sense to record the footage the door peephole cameras capture. Please consider the discussion below because the answer might not be what you expected.
The actual effect of recording is really negligible because unless you have a huge sign telling people that your door has a camera system, and that they are being recorded, people will continue the way they normally act. Now, for the vast majority of people, this is not a problem because most people behave in a civilized and rational way. People are not going to commit crimes. People are not going to try to break in and rob you or cause somebody in the premises any type of injury.
However, there is still that minority of people, there is, nonetheless, a tiny fraction of the population who will be up to no good, and unless they are given advanced warning that the door peephole cameras are in operation, they will continue to do what they do and this might be a serious problem. Why? You might be forced into a situation with whatever legal remedies you get would be a simple case of too little too late.
You do not want to be a day late and a buck short when it comes to injury. It is much better to avoid the injury in the first place than to go through the living hell of trying to get a recovery. There is also some unnecessary drama involved. Which brings us to the other effect of recorded door peephole cameras.
The best you could hope for is some sort of deterrent effect. In other words, your use of recorded door peephole cameras must be aimed at getting people to behave the right way. This means you have to send the precise signals. This means that you have to notify them in advance. That is why in the opening of this article, I discussed some sort of public notice so people would know that they are being recorded. This is where the deterrent effect comes in. People are not deterred if they do not know that they are being recorded. They are just going to act the way they normally act.
It all boils down to social signaling. You have to signal way in advance. You cannot just try to get some sort of recovery or try to put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, after the fact. That is too little too late. The bottom line here is simple. With advanced warning, people are more likely to think twice if they know they are being recorded. This might still not produce consistent behavior, but at least it has a higher likelihood of producing the effect that you are aiming for.