ECC students react to surveillance cameras around campus

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ECC students react to surveillance cameras around campus

ECC cafeteria adds surveillance cameras due to recent theft incidents.

ECC cafeteria adds surveillance cameras due to recent theft incidents.

Victoria Crowe

ECC cafeteria adds surveillance cameras due to recent theft incidents.

Victoria Crowe

Victoria Crowe

ECC cafeteria adds surveillance cameras due to recent theft incidents.

Victoria Crowe, Staff Writer

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Elgin Community College’s cafeteria has moved signs informing people about surveillance cameras closer to the cafeteria to make sure everyone is aware of them.  According to Managing Director of Retail Operations, Kelly Strossner, the cameras have been in place for many years, but she just moved the signs closer to the door. 

Some students, like second-year-student Umana Uddin, were not aware there were cameras there to begin with, but still haven’t given this a second thought.

“I literally don’t care,”  Uddin said. “There are already cameras everywhere, like in the bookstore.  They’re put here to keep us safe.”

Second-year-student Marco Ginocchio had no idea about the cameras either, but also doesn’t seem to feel like it’s an invasion of his privacy.

“It’s just another way to keep the school safe as well as detecting theft,”  Ginocchio said. “I think they are a good way to keep people from stealing. No one wants to get caught by a camera and have to look at themselves doing it when they get caught.  I think stealing will happen either way, but [the cameras] will certainly make people think twice before doing so.”

On the other hand, ECC student Auden Hattendorf does feel that this is an invasion of their privacy due to an incident last summer. Hattendorf’s webcam was hacked, as were many of their social media accounts. The hacker was able to dig up personal information about them and their family and was also attempting to get into their bank accounts.  (Full disclosure: Hattendorf is a staff writer for the Observer.)

“We got a phone call from my bank, and they said that someone was trying to get in,” Hattendorf said. “The hacker was bringing up personal things and using them to threaten me into giving him photos of myself.”

The hacker hacked into their social media account and was posting racist and other offensive things on their account that were alarming to many of their friends.  They were contacted by a few friends who saw these posts, and they alerted Hattendorf of the hacking. Hattendorf contacted the police right away, and the hacker has never contacted them again.

Since this incident, Hattendorf has taken extra precautions to make sure that their privacy is protected to the best of their ability.

“I have extra security steps on all of my accounts,”  Hattendorf said. “I feel like I’m scarred from that experience.  It kind of freaks me out [that there are surveillance cameras]. I don’t like the idea of someone I don’t know watching me.  I don’t know who they are, and I just don’t like being watched.”

There have been mixed emotions about these surveillance cameras in the cafeteria from many students at ECC.  Some don’t care, while others feel that it is an invasion of their privacy. The purpose of the cameras is to keep people safe and to keep people from stealing from the cafeteria.  

 

*This story has been corrected on April 15, 2019.  In an earlier version, the article mistakenly reported that the surveillance cameras were new.  The story now accurately reflects that the signs are new, not the cameras themselves. *