Flower Hill Residents Raise Privacy Concerns Over Neighbors' Security Cameras

FLOWER HILL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was controversy this week in Nassau County, over a possible crackdown on home security systems.

Some say outside home surveillance cameras are going too far, invading people’s privacy. Others say safety is key.

Surveillance cameras can be concealed in front door mirrors, backyard window panes, metal tubes pointed at the street, and hidden outside of gas light enclosures.

The technology is getting more sophisticated, and more brazen, some in the quaint village of Flower Hill have complained.

The deputy mayor said there have been “concerns raised by a resident that neighbor’s cameras appear to be recording his property.”

Currently, security cameras are a homeowner’s right. Visual recording is not illegal.

“Those who are spying on their neighbors. That is the problem with technology right? You have people who use it the wrong way,” Mohiba Rafiqi said.

Some in Flower Hill and several surrounding North Shore communities want their village attorneys to take a look at amending local codes.

“You are able to put these cameras on your own private property. That is the law, personally it is disturbing,” Mitch Mitchell said.

Pointing a camera at a neighbor’s home has escalated tenuous relationships, officials said.

“I understand it feels like invasion of privacy, but in today’s day and age, things are happening at every moment, and you can never be too safe. That’s why, to be honest, I feel safer with these cameras,” Julie Lavin said.

Flower Hill has just over 4,700 residents over 1.6 square miles. The proposed local law would ban installation of imaging devices with ‘no legitimate purpose other than viewing or recording another, in an area of that person’s property.’

The debate goes on.

Neula Burdeps doesn’t feel like she is being spied on.

“Not at all, my neighbors are very nice,” she said.

A public hearing has been postponed pending further research, local leaders said.

Flower Hill said it will examine how other municipalities around the state are handling the ‘complex safety and security issue.’