CCTV in public toilets

BathroomCCTV Big Brother Watch has previously covered the issue of CCTV cameras being placed in school bathrooms, but this blogpost from Cisco Security Expert Jamey Heary shocked even us.

Jamey is an American who, on a visit to Britain, paid the now obligatory 50p to enter a public toilet and was confronted by the scene you see on the right (click to enlarge).

As he writes:

You can imagine my surprise after I paid my 50 pence to use the public bathroom, walked in and found myself staring at not just one but three ceiling mounted video surveillance cameras. I had to get real close to their enclosures to convince myself that I wasn't seeing things. Not only was it really there, but it was a Pan-Tilt-Zoom model with a microphone to top it off.

Here is a shot I took in a London public bathroom (again the photo on the right). Notice the two cameras on the ceiling. Another one was behind me on the other wall facing towards these cameras. They had all of the angles covered that’s for sure. Don't want to miss any of the action.

I have so far been unable to contact Jamey and ascertain where the offending public toilets are located. I am slightly sceptical of the microphone being present (although who am I to question a 'security expert'?); but there is no doubt that this sort of thing is on the rise – and whoever is placing cameras in toilets is in serious breach of the Data Protection Act (not to mention common decency).

By Dylan Sharpe

Posted by on Mar 30, 2010 in CCTV | 24 Comments