SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Big Brother is apparently watching on Long Island.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, one family in Suffolk County said their neighbor installed cameras that are invading their privacy, but there is nothing they can do about it.
The security system in Shirley was set up as a neighborhood watch. But the Rizzitello family said it has gone too far. They came home on Thursday to find their next-door neighbor had installed one security camera facing directly onto their driveway, and two more focused on their backyard.
“It’s pretty disturbing to have someone filming you while you’re outside in your own backyard,” said Ben Rizzitello. “There’s no privacy at all.”
The family called 911 on Thursday night, but police said there was nothing they could do because any publicly viewable area like a backyard is fair game.
“You can’t do anything about drones flies over your home and takes a picture of your home for the Internet or anything like that, and as long as they’re used for proper purposes and unfortunately, you’re outside, and that’s what happens,” said attorney Karen Svendsen.
The family said the worst of it all is that one of the cameras faces the swing set where their 10-year-old daughter plays.
“Honestly, if I was a parent and I came here and saw that there’s a camera from a strange person videotaping my little girl, I wouldn’t allow a play date,” said Adeline Rizzitello.
The family said they have tried to reason with their neighbor without success. CBS2 tried knocking next door, but got no answer.
“I really would love to know what the reasoning is behind him videotaping us,” Adeline Rizzitello said.
Legally, their neighbor can film what is in plain sight. But it is a law some say needs to catch up to the 21st century.
The Rizzitellos said they plan to shine lights on the cameras to cause a glare.