Should You Use Twitter for Security Monitoring?

Author: John Honovich, Published on May 23, 2009

Internet luminary Kevin Rose suggests that we cut out alarm monitoring companies through the use of low cost devices and sharing alerts via Twitter. Friends and neighbors can then monitor those alerts and respond appropriately. [Watch Kevin Rose's video explaining the concept.]

Certainly, Kevin taps into 3 compelling concerns:

  • Alarm monitoring services are expensive - $500-$1000 USD per year
  • They often sell based on fear
  • The Internet makes monitoring much less expensive and more sophisticated

However, 3 operational issues make a free, pure crowdsourcing approach to be unattractive for most:
  • Alarm monitoring companies provide extensive coverage indoors and outdoors that makes sure that the house is well protected; a DIY approach would likely leave major gaps in coverage
  • Handling false alerts would likely overwhelm people responding (ie., "the Boy who Cried Wolf") since most alerts are false
  • It's often hard to determine if an alert is an intruder or simply a friend, relative, etc. Responders at alarm monitoring companies have numbers/contacts and procedures to verify and assess such issues

Because of this, most people benefit from having some centralized organization that verifies alarms and provides quality control/support.

That being said, I think the idea has merit:
  • The idea can be implemented today with $100 IP cameras that use motion detection and support SMS/email. A moderately technical person could do this now and could deploy a poor man's 'alarm monitoring system'
  • While free, crowdsourcing has problems, today's technology should easily generate new competition from much lower cost providers that use the Internet and self-monitoring to reduce costs yet provide some support and verification.

Ill-will towards the monitoring companies is common and with the high prices of systems, they are ripe for disruption. While free and open source may not be enough for most today, new technologies do point the way to less expensive alternatives.

Related Reports on Monitoring

Amazon Ring Partners With Rapid Response For $10 Monitoring on Jul 10, 2018
Amazon's Ring alarm system is using Rapid Response for monitoring, IPVM has confirmed in our testing. Amazon is arguably the most feared new...
Simplisafe Acquired At $1 Billion Valuation on Jun 29, 2018
Simplisafe, the competitor alarm monitoring companies historically most love to hate, has been acquired by a mega private equity firm for a $1...
OpenEye Apex VMS Tested on Jun 26, 2018
OpenEye is a US company, founded nearly 20 years ago. In the past few years, OpenEye has been one of a few VMS providers that have pivoted to being...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
Amazon Ring Launches $10 Monthly Professional Alarm Monitoring on Jun 15, 2018
Amazon's Ring has announced an alarm system with 24/7 professional alarm monitoring for $10 per month, a fraction of the $30+ per month traditional...
China Public Video Surveillance Guide: From Skynet to Sharp Eyes on Jun 14, 2018
China is expanding its video surveillance network to achieve “100%” nationwide coverage by 2020, including facial recognition capabilities and a...
Stealth / UCIT - Remote Video Monitoring Provider Profile on May 18, 2018
Can 2 remote video monitoring companies, Stealth Monitoring from the US and UCIT from Canada combine to impact the market and compete in a changing...
IP Network Hardware for Surveillance Guide on May 02, 2018
Video surveillance systems depend on IP networking equipment. In this guide, we explain the key pieces of equipment and features, explaining where...
FLIR Launches Saros on May 01, 2018
Has FLIR solved the video intrusion / remote monitoring problem or have they created an overkill, overly expensive device? FLIR has launched...
Netwatch / NMC Mega Deal Targets Global Remote Video Monitoring on Apr 27, 2018
Big money has entered the remote video monitoring market. While remote video monitoring has been done for more than a decade, the market has...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 13, 2018
Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security Sales Course Summer 2018 This...
US Tariffs Hit China Video Surveillance on Jul 13, 2018
Chinese video surveillance products avoided tariffs for the first two rounds. Now, in the third round, many video surveillance products will be...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
4 Most Difficult Camera Installs (Statistics) on Jul 12, 2018
Heavy housings, cumbersome brackets, heavy ladders required, and tricky field of view requirements will cause difficulties no matter the camera...
Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...
Hikvision Fights Ban - Claims 'Red Scare', Hires 14 Term Ex-Congressman on Jul 11, 2018
Hikvision is fighting back against the House Bill Ban of their products. Hikvision has hired one of the biggest lobbying firms, led by a 14 term...
Arecont Acquisition By Costar on Jul 11, 2018
Arecont Vision acquisition by Costar Technologies has been approved by the court, concluding the bankruptcy process triggered by Arecont's...
Amazon Ring Partners With Rapid Response For $10 Monitoring on Jul 10, 2018
Amazon's Ring alarm system is using Rapid Response for monitoring, IPVM has confirmed in our testing. Amazon is arguably the most feared new...
SIA Lobbyists Working On House Bill Ban of Dahua and Hikvision on Jul 10, 2018
While SIA is most known for ISC West, SIA maintains the industry's most significant lobbying organization to influence US government action. Last...
Eastern and SavvyTech Merge, Form ENS, Targets ADI on Jul 09, 2018
ADI, ENS is coming for you. Or, at least, they hope. Two US distributors, NY based EasternCCTV and California based SavvyTech have merged, to...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact