Security vs Privacy: Toronto Stores Accused of Having Cameras Too Close to Changing Rooms

Have you ever seen a store with a conspicuously placed camera? Are retailers being proactive in their loss prevention or creepy?

As we get closer and closer to December 25th and Boxing Day it seems many of us are spending a majority of our shopping time in major malls (have you ever seen Yorkdale on a Saturday?). With so many people entering and exiting stores,  it should come as an expectation that many shops will be stepping up their security efforts. While this seems like the smart things to do, CTV news is reporting that some customers have voiced complaints and believe that their privacy has been violated because at some stores cameras are too close to the changing rooms.

It brings up some interesting concerns, how private should changing rooms be, especially when it comes to security and theft.  According to CTV News, the main store in question was Honey Boutique, and customers were concerned that the camera in question was too close to the changing rooms in that particular store.  While Honey did not respond to CTV News for this story, Yorkdale did and suggested that while they do not have control of in-store theft prevention they did note that the camera in question did not seem to infringe on anyone’s privacy.

So what are the actual rules? Well, it turns out that private sector security cameras are regulated by the  Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and enforced by the Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The guidelines state that cameras should not be pointed in areas where “cameras should not be aimed at areas where people have a heightened expectation of privacy”.  According to this definition, changing rooms definitely, fall under this purview.

What do you think? Have you ever seen a store with a conspicuously placed camera? Are retailers being proactive in their loss prevention or creepy?

Source: CTV News