How small can surveillance go?

We see them in movies, used by spies or agents, under the tables or inside shirt pockets, existing in all forms from clock, eyes of a teddy bear, to lipsticks, but we never expect to find them in real World. In fact, these mini surveillance systems are moving out of the TV box and do not be surprised that they are just as commonly plant.

In general, micro surveillance systems are popularly employed by police departments, government sectors, casinos, or investigators, due to their concealable nature, for easy capturing of many evidences and details while preventing individuals on target acting abnormally when they know they are under surveillance. Others who take advantage of the small size cameras are plumbers, pest controllers, or mechanics, who like to get closer looks into extremely small premises so that certain actions or works can be done effectively and efficiently.

Micro surveillance system also takes the form of a “Nanny Camera”, a way to monitor domestic help and caregivers within homes or nurseries. The use of it turned prominent when alleged cases of abuse towards care receivers were reported and these systems believed to be acting as the best source of evidences to such accuse. Reality television programs had also employed hidden cameras to seize the most natural or buzzard moments of their contestants or participants.

It is not hard for one to find out where these minute surveillance cameras are hidden; perhaps a brief check of all ceilings and walls will lead to a great discovery. Do not neglect areas such as pens, lamps, or table corners, and bear in mind that even though nothing has been found, it does not mean you have escaped the supervision, sometimes, these devices are able to turn themselves off or minimize the constant signal, to avoid being found. Nevertheless, these cameras also emit certain radio waves that can be identified by detectors that are readily obtainable from online purchase. Besides, due to the small size nature, these pinhole or micro cameras are also susceptible to being cover up, lowering the possibilities of capturing clear images.

As the use of smart phones became extensive, some companies also offered services that allow clients to embed micro surveillance systems that are compatible to their mobile. These systems enabled individual to record and keep track of their footages readily and easily. At the same time, smart phones are also capable in detecting the existing surveillance systems within the targeted area, including the micro surveillance system. Basically, one is not only walking with a surveillance system in hand but also a surveillance detector too.

Due to the size and convenience of filming others without them knowing, micro surveillance systems had gave rise to many discrepancies. In US, there is a thin grey line between installation of “Nanny Camera” and capturing footages legally; it will not violate the law as long as no audio device is attached to the cameras. However, the use of such surveillance is still not permissible in certain states. On the other hand, UK has no law against the use of micro surveillance, thus one is free to turn his/her homes or workplaces into a scene of spy movie. Nevertheless, individuals who are capturing these footages are accountable for storage and distribution of them, and videoing sensitive places like public bathrooms or changing rooms remained illegal.

Like human, surveillance systems too come in different sizes, while we cannot deny the fact that they are helping us to keep an eye on our environment, they may also be taking our privacy at the same time, unknowingly, since they have sharper eyes than us.

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