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Smile … you’re on someone’s camera

Sarah Arnett and AJ Arnett are enthusiastic smart doorbell owners who enjoy being able to communicate with people at their door, even when they are not home.


By Barbara Neff; photos courtesy of Sarah Arnett

When asked, residents of Douglas County seem to agree unanimously that the prevalence of video cameras in our everyday lives is both good and bad.

Mary-Sue Quinn of Castle Pines readily agreed that video cameras offer protection for our homes, our businesses and ourselves. However, she concluded, “We lose a great deal of our privacy for the sake of convenience, safety and technological advancement.”

Stepping outside our homes today very likely means our every move is being recorded. We are being watched by business security cameras, traffic cameras, nature cams, cellphones in the hands of virtually everyone, and more recently, doorbells with video capabilities, also known as smart doorbells.

Weekly stories of criminals caught in the act are commonplace. At the same time, perfectly innocent people are sometimes cast in a suspicious light due to videotaping.

Andrew Hendel of Castle Pines is in neighborhoods for business reasons several times per week. He is fully aware he is being eyed by cameras, and he said it does make him uncomfortable. “I am always super paranoid about being videotaped and the potential of being accused of something just because I was seen in the neighborhood on someone’s camera,” stated Hendel.

In a March 2017 USA Today article, the makers of Ring doorbells – smart doorbells with camera and videotaping features – conducted studies which proved that the presence of smart doorbells in neighborhoods reduced crime by 50%. If accurate, who could resist installing a smart doorbell?

Castle Pines residents Sarah and AJ Arnett are enthusiastic smart doorbell owners. When asked about the benefits, they list several: Knowing who is at your door before you open it; seeing vehicles that enter and exit the neighborhood; protecting the home, especially while traveling; and even identifying wildlife visitors that might pose a threat to a small pet.

When asked about the downside of society’s current love affair with videotaping, Sarah replied, “The idea of cameras being everywhere in the public doesn’t bother us. Video cameras/footage can help prevent and/or solve crime. To us, there aren’t any cons. With the advancement of technology and a majority of people having cellphones with cameras, being videotaped is a high possibility.”

In concluding, Sarah likened her smart doorbell to a character from a 1960s television show, Mrs. Kravitz of Bewitched, the nosy neighbor who peeped out of her front window from behind her drapes. “Mrs. Kravitz kept a close eye on her neighborhood, and so do we!”

Ring: one piece of technology that neighbors can use to keep an eye out on who shows up to the house.

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