‘Hey! Why are watching me?!’ – a word about privacy

One of the main concerns of a residential CCTV user is that it may be a cause for a privacy debate with his neighbours. Of course, if you install a security camera you want to keep an eye on your house but it may be difficult to avoid the awkward ‘why are you spying on me’ conversation with some of your particularly conservative neighbours. So here are a few tips on how to protect your property and possessions without losing a neighbourly guy status.


Sometimes being clear with your neighbours about your intentions is the easiest way to maintain good relationship. So it may be a good idea to tell your neighbours beforehand that you are planning on getting a CCTV.

Camera positioning

The most effective way to restrict the field of view of a camera is by careful selection of camera position and lens field of view to prevent the camera from overlooking private areas of your neighbours. This is quite simple for a fixed camera, but may be more difficult to achieve for a PTZ camera, which may involve the PTZ camera’s movement limits.

Privacy Masking

If it is not possible to position the camera to ensure that it does not overlook the neighbours’ properties, then you can use a masking method to ensure that the area to be restricted from view remains private.

There are currently two main types of masking, these are:

· Psychical masking – using external physical barriers such as walls, embankments or trees and vegetation in combination with camera positioning to mask the views of private areas. However, it is important to remember and take into account that the coverage provided by vegetation may vary due to seasonal changes, growth and pruning.

· Software masking – the software on the camera or recording device superimposes a solid, uniform colour (usually) rectangle or a blurred / pixelated shape to cover the specific ‘zone’ of the field of view of the camera.


If control system settings are used to limit the field of view, it is important to make sure that these are protected via a key switch or pass code so that they cannot be subsequently altered or overridden by unauthorised persons. Perhaps a bit of an overkill, you may consider setting up a ‘two-man’ control mechanism (the principle that a chance to setting would require the code of two persons, one of which is held by your neighbour).

Our recommendation on IP cameras featuring privacy masking software:

· Milesight 5MP Vandal-proof Mini Dome Network Camera (MS-C5373-PB) - £134

· Hikvision 4MP IR Fixed Dome Network Camera (DS-2CD2145FWD-I) – £106

· Milesight 2MP 12x H.265+ Mini PTZ Bullet Network Camera (MS-C2961-E(P)B) - (old price £373) NOW £330

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