Public housing tenant faces psychological distress and fear due to neighbour’s CCTV installation on door

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28th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) Recently, on a local Facebook page “Hong Kong Public Housing Discussion Forum (FB Edition)”, a netizen shared his distressing experience. He claimed that his neighbour had installed a CCTV camera on their door, which illuminated his own entrance. The constant psychological fear of being monitored during their comings and goings created immense anxiety. However, when he attempted to voice his concerns and lodge a complaint, hie was met with indifference and ridicule from fellow netizens.

The tenant who posted the message explained how he had discovered that his neighbour in the opposite unit had installed a door viewer CCTV. After some investigation, he confirmed that the device had video recording capabilities. Every time he entered or left his home, the camera would emit a distinct sound, accompanied by the illumination of red and blue lights, as shown in the accompanying photo. This situation caused great psychological distress for both the tenant and his family, as they constantly worried about being recorded under surveillance when the lights turned on. They had previously lodged a complaint with the building management, but their concerns were ignored, and the management displayed a dismissive attitude. The entire family felt helpless, with no avenue for seeking assistance, exacerbating their stress levels.

Upon seeing the original poster’s plea for support, netizens flooded the comments section with scathing remarks. Many believed that the problem lay with the poster himself. They commented, “If you’re so concerned about CCTV cameras, why don’t you just take the stairs? Do you think people watch the recordings every day? They only check them if something happens. These cameras are usually not recording unless you linger or loiter in front of someone’s door,” “A single CCTV camera makes you fear for your life? Then you must be constantly living in fear whenever you step outside,” “Do you have something to hide? Are you being pursued by the authorities? With so many criminals around, I don’t see any issue,” “Someone mentioned earlier that there have been numerous burglary cases in your estate. People install cameras to protect themselves,” “You should be grateful. Someone is watching over your home. They can help in case of any issues.”

In the face of this onslaught of criticism, the original poster responded, stating, “Our relationship with them has always been strained, and it’s not just about making noise every time we meet. They have always been hostile towards us, and they know the exact comings and goings of every member of our family. They know our personalities well. Why do they need to constantly install these cameras? The truth is, in my household, there are individuals who are more vulnerable, and there are those who are more assertive. They wait for the assertive ones to leave before targeting the vulnerable ones. Isn’t that taking advantage of the weak? They have even tried waiting for the assertive members of our household to leave the entrance and then stood outside our door causing a commotion for a full five minutes. As soon as they hear the assertive members inside, they act innocent. In the end, you may think that I am causing trouble, but you don’t live here, so you don’t understand the true hardships.”