This tiny camera can spy on you in the shower, and it costs less than $40

This tiny camera can spy on you in the shower, and it costs less than $40

Beware when occupying temporary accommodation: some landlords install miniature cameras to spy on you. These high-performance and undetectable models cost only a few tens of euros!

It's a dark and unfortunately, not uncommon story: in the United States, a Brazilian student discovered, while staying with an American host family, that she was being filmed in the bathroom through a towel hook. This hook integrated a small wide-angle camera with motion detection. Powered by a battery, it recorded everything that happened whenever someone entered the room. Worse still, its microphone allowed the voyeur to pick up all the sounds in the environment. A removable memory card enabled it to locally record up to 32 GB of content – about 16 hours of recording. An ostensibly undetectable way to satisfy one's curiosity, and, of course, entirely illegal. The worst part is that this gadget is available on Amazon for less than 40 dollars! The young woman has since filed a complaint against the individual, and interestingly, the judge took the opportunity to raise the question of Amazon's responsibility in this matter, as the seller of this spy camera.

This case highlights the problem: it is possible to obtain a difficult-to-detect and affordable spy camera! Just type "spy camera" into the search bar on Amazon or AliExpress to find a bunch of James Bond-like gadgets: pen, alarm clock, charger, car key, external battery, smoke detector, light bulb, watch... And these are not low-quality gadgets! Some models film and record in Full HD and come equipped with a microphone, a micro SD card, night vision, and even motion detection. Cutting-edge technology for less than 100 dollars... 

© Amazon

Most of the time, sellers invoke legitimate reasons to justify the use of spy cameras: monitoring home activity (babysitter, cleaning staff, thieves), an elderly or sick person, children, or even to prove adultery or domestic violence. In the aforementioned case, Amazon claims not to be responsible for how its customers use its products, but the judge points out that "the description regarding the use" of the products in question hypothesizes "recording private moments in a bathroom." In other words: Amazon is perfectly aware of the possible uses of such objects.

When you arrive in a new home, remember to look around and examine objects that seem suspicious. You can use your smartphone's camera in the dark to spot infrared diodes – if night vision is supported – in the form of green or red rays, from cameras. You can also check the list of connected devices on the local network to identify what might be tracking you. If you find something suspicious, try and remove the power source, see if there is a memory card, and simply cover it. One can never be too cautious!