Security Cameras In Restrooms

Today I learned that while security cameras are banned in restrooms in my area, there is a legal loophole. If the restroom has a clearly-posted sign stating that it is security-monitored, then the business can have a security camera up in there. This has to do with expectation of privacy: ordinarily, you have that in restrooms, but if there’s a sign, then you don’t.

So, would people here use a restroom with a sign on it stating that it is monitored by cameras? Let’s assume the following:

  • It is a restroom with stalls, not a single room.
  • The camera is at an angle where it cannot see inside the stalls and if there are urinals, there are small walls preventing the camera from seeing anything.
  • The camera is fixed; it cannot change angle or position.
  • It cannot pick up sound.

Would you feel safer or less safe in a restroom with security cameras?

Would you stop patronizing a business entirely if they announced that they were putting a camera in their restroom?

If you view this negatively, would it change your opinion if there was a recent well-publicized crime in a restroom in your area (or in the restroom that is now being monitored) and the cameras were placed in response to that?

The sign would have to be pretty big for me to notice it. I would worry that “clearly posted” is not specific enough to actually remove someone’s expectation of privacy. It really should have to be posted right on the door, at every sink and every toilet to ensure everyone has the chance to see the notice.

I don’t find those specific conditions unworkable, but I certainly would not feel safer with a camera in the restroom. I would probably complain to management and try to limit my use of that restroom, but if I needed to I would suck it up.

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My first university had cameras in the bathroom. There was a shared sink area between the two bathrooms which was filmed. I found this out the hard way.

My main question is… why? What are they trying to achieve? Since stalls and urinals absolutely cannot, under any circumstance, be recorded, that limits what the cameras can record severely. What kind of crimes are they trying to prevent with this? Physical altercations in the sink area? That’s the only thing I can think of quickly…

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According to the arguments for the cameras, fights don’t usually happen entirely within a stall. If it does end up there, someone pushes them in (which could be caught by the cameras) or pushes the door in. Both of which could be caught by the camera. If someone passes out in a stall, you could see that the door was closed for a very long time and then send someone in to check on them. Though even if you’re okay with the cameras, this seems a step up in terms of privacy invasion - but then, if someone is passed out, the stakes are higher, too. Is it worth it? Additionally, they seem to think that cameras would serve as a deterrent for other things like drug use. That would probably just lead to the users hiding in a stall, though.

Ironically enough, one of the arguments is that the cameras could catch people laying hidden cameras. They don’t elaborate on this, though. I think the assumption is that if someone goes from stall to stall, you can tell that they’re doing it? But that could also apply to someone who dropped something in the restroom and is trying to find it. (Presumably you could start a search for hidden cameras if that happens and if you find something, you arrest that person.) And it wouldn’t catch someone who plants something in only a single stall.

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I need to investigate the staff toilets at work, because they look like they have security cameras in. But instead of being the normal black done they were rather cloudy looking.

When I noticed them I dismissed the idea as nonsense because of course there wouldn’t be an actual camera in the same room as they toilet (and it’s a small room, not a stall) but now I’m less sure and want to double check.

What seems to be a security camera might be a motion sensor, used to shut off the lights when the washrooms are (apparently) vacant. Or a deodorizer mister. Or a… camera, and not necessarily one placed by the company or building management. Sometimes the brazen approach is the most effective one!

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One of the arguments given for some of the more public (Ie: Outdoor / park area) restrooms having cameras, over here, is vandalism.
Dont know how much that applies to indoor / business bathrooms as well, but …

Personally, I don’t really like the idea but I can see the reasoning.

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The vandalism thing makes sense, but I didn’t know fights in restrooms was such a serious issue.

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Bathrooms have a lot of hard surfaces at good angles to deal damage to the human form and are generally less under surveillance than other locations. They’re great places to either really beat someone up bad if you ever need to. No, I luckily don’t have personal experience with this.

And sometimes the bathrooms are the cause of the fight. For instance, beating someone up if you believe they’re in the wrong one.

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Or the right time to get someone alone.

I personally don’t have issues with it, as long as they indeed do not record the urinals or stalls, and take into consideration all mirrors or other surfaces that might reflect images, while doing so.

I would have no more problems with that than anywhere else in the office/store/park/whatever.

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I agree. I have no issues with cameras in toilets as long as they don’t record what’s going on in the stalls or at the urinals.

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