March 21, 2023
Security footage is an essential tool for protecting people, assets, and property. It helps identify criminals, solve crimes, and provide evidence in legal proceedings. However, question of how long places keep security footage can vary depending on policies and regulations that govern them.
In general, most places keep security footage for a specific period, which can range from a few days to several years. The reason for this is that storing footage requires significant amounts of space, power, and resources, and it's inefficient to keep it forever. Additionally, legal requirements and industry standards might also dictate retention period.
For instance, in retail industry, common practice is to keep footage for 30 to 90 days, depending on store's size and location. This is because most incidents, such as shoplifting and fraud, get detected within that timeframe. However, if there is a significant incident, such as a robbery, authorities might request footage, and store might have to keep it longer.
Similarly, in hospitality industry, hotels typically store footage for 30 days, while casinos have to keep it for at least six months as part of their gaming commission's regulations. In hospitals and healthcare facilities, footage retention periods may vary depending on type of incident, ranging from seven days to several years.
The length of time a place keeps security footage may also depend on type of camera used, storage capacity available, and technological advancements. For example, traditional analog cameras require more storage space and have lower resolution than modern IP cameras, which need less storage and have higher resolution. As a result, places that have upgraded to IP cameras may be able to keep footage for longer periods.
In summary, how long places keep security footage depends on various factors, including industry standards, legal requirements, technological advancements, and resources available. Organizations should have clear policies and procedures for retaining footage that align with relevant laws and regulations, and they should communicate these clearly to employees and customers. They should also ensure that footage is stored securely and can be easily accessed if needed for investigative purposes.