How Long Do Security Cameras Keep Footage?

These days, we are living in a world where security cameras are everywhere. It’s no longer new to us. We can find it usually in banks, malls, churches, and even in the streets. They come in different styles. Some would look like a light bulb while some are very obvious that they are looking at you.

By the way, did you ever wonder why there’s a need for most of the establishments to have these “eyes” installed? How does it work? How important it is to our businesses?

When I was in college, I went to a mall to buy a pair of pants. I had my pouch in my hand. In that pouch were my entire salary for that month and my newly-bought cellphone. It was my time to go inside the dressing room to try three different pants. Since I needed my two hands, I hung my pouch on the hook inside the small room. I went on and finished fitting them all. I went out of the room to ask the saleslady for a specific size. The saleslady checked and told me that there’s no more available size for me. I went outside the department store and was heading to the supermarket. I decided to buy some toiletries instead. I was about to pick the first item, and then I remembered something… it was my pouch with everything in it!

I was already crying on my way back to the department store. I had a bad feeling. I went to the dressing room I used, but someone’s in there already. I knocked and asked with a shaking voice if they saw a pouch upon the wall. There’s nothing in there, they said. I cried like a baby. I then asked the saleslady if they have a CCTV installed inside the dressing room. Unfortunately, they don’t. The security personnel told me that it’s going to be an invasion of someone’s privacy.

Each country has different laws when it comes to security cameras. I belong to a country that prohibits putting CCTV in the dressing room.

I have researched that in the United States, there are only thirteen States that allow cameras in the dressing room:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Utah

Of course, it has limits. It has guidelines to follow. I won’t go deep with what laws we have when it comes to putting security cameras. Instead, we’ll go ahead and know more about what a Security Camera is.

A Security Camera, also known as “CCTV cameras”,  is a video camera that records people’s activities to detect and prevent crime.

In 1942, the first video surveillance system was used in Germany to observe the launch of long-range guided ballistic missiles. It was then made available in the U.S. after a short while to both government and business use. During this time, they need to keep an eye to watch the screens. It’s real-time for the reason that there was no technology available yet to record data.

Because technology is always improving, so do our security cameras. Now you can do real-time and recorded viewing and check your house or business. For as long as you have an internet connection, everything is almost possible.

From the definition alone, we can say that it only has one purpose – to detect and prevent crime. No other purpose stated. When we talk about crime, it could happen everywhere. It could happen on the streets, inside the store, or a bank. It could even happen in the comfort of our own homes.

Who knows what is happening inside our houses when we are busy working in the office. Who can even say that the nanny we hired is taking good care of our kids? A lot of things that we cannot leave with a doubt.

Security guards are there, yes. But having Security Cameras will be an added assurance that we can know what was and what is going on in the area. Because of this technology, we can check our house where we leave our kids with their nannies. We can have someone look after our own businesses while doing some errands. We can check if our employees are doing their jobs while you’re out for some other business.

There’s a lot of advantages this “Big Brother” brought us. Aside from those mentioned, the biggest help it can do is to solve a crime. How? Let’s go back to its definition – records people’s activities. Since it is capable of recording, thus we can go back and review some scenes. Cool, right? Now, the next question would be: how long will it keep a recording or footage?

Most experts when it comes to CCTV’s would say 30 to 90 days for businesses is the average retention time. For home cameras, it only lasts for 2 to 7 days.

There are three factors to consider when it comes to retention:

– the quality settings which include the resolution and the frame rate
– the amount of storage
– and the number of cameras.

The higher the resolution or the quality, the more storage it eats up, the sooner it will replace the oldest video. The recording system of the CCTV/ Security cameras follows the principle of FIFO – First In First Out. This means erasing the oldest one to cater to the newest recording.

This 30 to 90 days retention of videos is ample time to keep videos in case there are some issues that the authorities will need to review.

Having security cameras everywhere nowadays is a protection to us. Burglars will not have 100% confidence when they do a crime. Those nannies who are not being human in taking care of our precious ones will know that our eyes are on them. Employees will be afraid to sleep on their desks when it’s time for work. It will prevent and detect crime. Thanks for the help of this Big Brother. If today you cannot sit and watch the check, you can always go back to the footage a few days after. What security indeed!

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