New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021




Big Brother Was Already Watching. Is He About to Start Staring?


Surveillance Cameras
Sept. 21, 2016

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, virtually every co-op and condo board in New York City has taken steps to tighten building security. Now that security camera footage has proven pivotal in the arrest of Ahmed Kahn Rahami in last weekend’s Chelsea bombing, there's renewed talk about the value – and risks – of the recent proliferation of security cameras.

"I think there's going to be more and more talk about [installing security cameras]," Mary Ann Rothman, executive director of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, tells Brick Underground, adding that her own building has 16 cameras, some indoors, some facing the surrounding streets. "Sadly, we are worrying more, and seeing how much it helps to have them. It means you're not only protecting your own building, but also contributing to your community."

The NYPD can tap into about 6,000 street cameras citywide, including the ones that captured Rahami planting explosives. But not everyone is thrilled by this proliferation of surveillance. The New York Civil Liberties Union mapped cameras throughout Manhattan and argued that they represent an “infringement on our right of anonymity and to move and associate freely.”

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