Video Doorbells: Giving Up Privacy for Protection?

CHARLOTTE, NC – Video doorbells catch it all, package thefts, strangers, and attempted break-ins.

“Second kick. Whole front of my house is rattling,” said Brittany.

Her video doorbell caught a scary scene. A man trying to kick down her door in broad daylight. Her family was huddled inside.

“Scared the crap out of me especially once I realized how big he was,” said Brittany.

The doorbell is motion activated. Anytime a car, person, or animal goes by, it starts recording; everything.

“When you start thinking about that knowing anybody can hear anything at any time, especially since it goes off so much, it’s a little creepy,” said Brittany.”

Brittany says you may be giving up more privacy than you think.

“There is a lot of personal things that go on in my home that I wouldn’t want captured on video and be viewed by any and everybody,” said Brittany.

“You’re taking information and making it available to people you don’t know,” said Mike Holland with Fortalice Solutions.

He says the video and data from your doorbells are being stored with the companies that operate them. They have the right to use it however they want.

“It’s a balance. What are you giving up versus what are you gaining?” said Holland.

He says, like anything that connects to the internet, there is the potential the device or the company holding your recorded data could be hacked.

“You need to think of them as minicomputers and you need to protect them appropriately,” said Holland.

Many people are willing to take the risk.

“I knew you were here before you came up,” said Isaac Ross of South Charlotte.

He says he loves his video doorbell and understand the potential privacy concerns.

“That’s just a chance you have to take.. There is a catch to everything,” said Ross.

Holland says if you plan to use a video doorbell that connects to the internet, then it must be secured. He suggests multi-factor authorization, and use phrases for passwords.