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Seen At 11: Some Families Use Security Cameras For More Than Just Safety

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — These days, in-home security cameras are being used for more than just safety. New technology has made it easier for families to stay in touch than ever before.

Ken Hall told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson that he installed a small security camera in his home when his daughter was born.

“It’s nice to have that sense of comfort. The sense of security to know that at any time during the day I can peek in and see what’s going on,” Hall said.

Simply opening an app on his tablet lets Hall see everything that his family is doing, although he admits that it took a little while for his wife to adjust to being on camera.

“In the beginning it was a little strange, but I think she’s become used to it,” he said.

Experts say the cameras provide an easy way for family members to stay connected.

“A lot of families who work longer hours are away from home and it becomes an opportunity and a way to stay connected,” said psychologist Dr. Jane Greer.

Hall agreed.

“It was nice to be able to be connected to my daughter and to my wife while I was at work. So, I can peek in on them and see, ‘Oh, they’re playing,'” he said.

However, the cameras should be used with some restraint, Dr. Greer said.

“When it becomes exploitative or people start to use it to control or intrude into their family’s personal territory then it becomes problematic,” Dr. Greer explained.

While the devices are convenient for keeping tabs on children and pets, some may consider them to be an invasion of privacy.

“You can use it for children. You can use it as a baby monitor. You can keep an eye on pets. But, you can also know in extreme detail what your guests are doing,” privacy attorney Sarah Downey said.

Downey said that visitors should be informed that there are cameras that may be tracking their movements in a home.

“If you’re going to use these tools you have to be courteous about them. It’s a whole new world of etiquette with technology that we haven’t really had to deal with yet,” she said.

Hall told CBS 2’s Johnson that he posts a security sign at his door, but said that he isn’t worried about infringing on his guests’ privacy.

“We usually try to tell people but sometimes if they’re just friend and they’re coming over you know it’s like no big deal,” Hall said.

Experts added that guests should always be informed about cameras and should be given an opportunity to ask that they be turned off during their visit.

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