And that has raised the question of who can see the recordings captured by security cameras around your building. The alarming answer seems to be any homeowner who wants it.
If you assume that all owners have the right to see most documents held by the owner’s company or legal entity, and the recordings made by strata cameras are documents (which they are), then any owner can view them.
Questions to ask yourself
Our friends from the Unit Owners Association of Queensland even mocked a joke sign to put under the cameras, explaining that all the footage can be viewed for the same modest sums you have to pay to view people’s records. moral.
And an NSW strata manager told us that one of his clients was forced to find a way to prevent a landlord from viewing footage because he was effectively stalking a neighbor.
Assuming your strata system has CCTV cameras or security cameras, do you know where the images are stored, who has immediate access to them, how long they are kept, and what happens when they are out of date? ? If you don’t know and your committee is unsure, these are questions you might ask at your next AGM.
There will be times when your neighbors have a perfectly legitimate reason for wanting to see the stored footage. Which car hit mine? What dog is constantly pooping on common property? Who is the climate denier who suspiciously throws non-recyclable waste into recycling bins?
And if you can’t stop people from wanting to view CCTV video for the wrong reasons, you can definitely make it harder for them. How about a regulation that requires them to fill out a form stating why they need to see the footage and maybe even provide a police check (available online for a fee)?
This regulation could be challenged in court, but at least it would put a stop to the bad guys. Meanwhile, as we increasingly allow ourselves to be recorded in our daily lives, stratagems of strata could use government advice on how to deal with this potentially sensitive material.