Plenty of HDB flat owners have closed-circuit television cameras installed outside their HDB flats these days as part of home surveillance.
News flash: It is, in fact, illegal to set up such surveillance devices without prior approval from the authorities in Singapore.
Law states so
According to Singapore law, HDB flat residents are not allowed to install CCTV cameras outside their homes, CNA reported.
Residents can only do so after they have received approval from HDB.
Why is it illegal?
Such surveillance devices can end up recording the comings and goings of neighbours, depending on where and how they are positioned.
The Community Disputes Resolution Act, passed in 2015, explicitly states that a neighbour’s enjoyment or use of their place of residence must not be be subjected to "unreasonable interference".
The "surveillance" of a neighbour's place of residence falls under such a definition of interference.
Residents can face civil proceedings for flouting the law.
Town council by-laws
Separately, town councils have by-laws that regulate the use of common areas outside of flats.
The Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council responded to CNA queries saying that "special reasons" are needed for the installation of CCTVs.
CCTV installation for a purpose
It is understood, based on what sellers of CCTVs told CNA, that residents have to make a police report first and seek approval from the town councils before installing a CCTV outside their homes.
Reasons cited for the installation of CCTVs include neighbourly disputes, theft of their belongings outside corridors or harassment.
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