NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Smart video doorbells may be changing the way people report and share suspicious activity.
The increased high tech surveillance is allowing homeowners to take security into their own hands, but are they going too far in some cases? In New Rochelle, a homeowner shared video to social media of a woman trying to break into her home near Webster and Union Avenues
The would-be burglar was captured on Amazon Ring, a smart doorbell technology that lets you watch your property from anywhere. It’s catching on, and making home security a social event.
Many people share their surveillance video with neighbors online.
“I’ve seen it on community pages and blogs,” New Rochelle resident Lisa Tossini said. “I think we automatically assume in today’s day and age that it’s someone who has ill will.”
One homeowner posted video showing a man he said stole a package from his doorstep before driving away. Another homeowner posted video showing “a suspicious person” at their front door.
But was it really?
“I’m expecting with the prevalence of technology that you’re going to see incidents where people will report falsely that someone is coming to their door to scare them or for bad reasons,” defense attorney Angelo MacDonal said.
MacDonal said misidentifying someone as criminal and sharing it could lead to a defamation lawsuit.
“Social media, once something gets out, it’s out there forever,” New Rochelle resident Stephen Hopkins said. “That person could get screwed.”
CBS2 spoke with police in New Rochelle, who say make sure to give authorities a call before you post video to social media of someone you consider suspicious.
“If there’s any kind of confusion of confusion or ambiguity about what the person is doing, check with local police,” Ed Hartnett from Brosman Risk Consultants said. “However, if the person is clearly trying to break into the home I think the quicker the image gets out the better.”
Bottom line, experts say it’s good to watch, but watch what you post.