You probably know your bank’s branch has security cameras…
Watching to make sure thieves don’t steal your account information, but not all cameras are used for good. Thieves can hide cameras under fake covers that have tiny holes to record through, like the ones found recently in London ATMs. Those cameras record you as you punch in your PIN. Most ATMs are safe from the hidden cameras, but if you notice anything fishy that looks like the machine could have been tampered with, pick another place to withdraw cash.
An empty elevator seems like an exceptionally private place to dig something out of your teeth or adjust your panties, but there could still be eyes on you. Look at the ceiling and you might spot a security camera keeping a watchful eye. Elevator cameras can’t record sound, which would violate federal wiretapping laws, and they are always high up instead of at eye level.
For obvious reasons, schools need to take precautions to protect their students, like keeping doors locked and requiring visitors to check in. Three-quarters of schools also use security cameras. (No joke: One school even found a ghost camera.) While you might be unsurprised (and relieved!) to see cameras watching entrances and hallways, you might not realize just how many cameras some schools have. Some districts have added cameras in buses, classrooms, and other areas.
Traffic lights, looking up to see a camera watching every car that goes by might seem a bit Big Brother, but they have their uses, and you can tell what it is just by looking at it. Some cameras monitor traffic, while others catch drivers running red lights. Signal control cameras are small cameras on top of traffic lights, and they replace sensors that used to be cut into pavement. They can’t move around, and their quality is only good enough to sense if a vehicle is there and the light should change, but it’s not strong enough to take a picture of a license plate.
Sure, you already know your laptop has a camera. But here’s the question: Is it recording you without you knowing? Creepily enough, it might be. Hackers can use malware to turn on another person’s laptop camera remotely to record you without your knowledge. Cameras in hospital patient rooms aren’t the HIPAA violation you might think. Because there are safety issues at hand, hospitals are allowed to install security cameras in patients’ rooms. Fujitsu even developed a camera that can recognize when a patient sits up or even has a restless night’s sleep.
Thankfully, this is another rare case—but it could happen. Guests have been horrified to find hidden cameras in hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals without having given any consent. Hotels won’t put cameras in rooms, and hidden surveillance devices are against Airbnb’s rules. The chance of someone breaking those rules are rare, but you can still keep an eye out when you’re traveling. Look out for holes in devices like alarm clocks and smoke detectors, or in objects you don’t always see in hotel rooms, like bouquets of flowers.
Article credit: Reader’s Digest
Photo credit: TechPrevue