As a Security Expert, I have testified in several law suits involving hidden cameras spying on the public in areas such as restrooms and dressing rooms. This is an emerging area of civil law suits simply due to the vast availability (cheap too) of micro cameras.
When you look at a standard 12 volt power supply for many electronic devices, you would not give it a a second thought that the lens of a camera is behind the case. In a restroom, it would be hiding in in plain sight. Voyeurism is behind most of the hidden cameras and they can record sound, video, and take photos. They can also be used to upload the video to the web to stream live video.
These cameras are, in many cases, less than $10.00 and even the sophisticated ones are less than $30.00. These can detect motion and record only when movement is detected. This saves battery life and storage. They can be hidden in operating electrical outlets and working deodorizers that are common in most restrooms. Hidden cameras for the purpose of voyeurism are generally installed below the line of sight and can be concealed in virtually any container what would be appropriate for the environment. However, simply placing one above a ceiling tile or in a vent is the easiest place.
Keep in mind that public restrooms, dressing rooms, locker rooms, and other private areas are generally very accessible to employees who can install one is short order. Some are self-contained with their own battery and storage card. Changing out a battery and SD card becomes very quick indeed.
As a member of the public, how do you absolutely ensure there are no spy cameras in an area where you expect privacy? First, there are no absolutes. Only a highly trained counter-surveillance expert with the proper equipment could find one but there is hope for the rest of us. Look for small holes in the ceiling tiles, look under the shelf directly in front of the toilet, examine the shower head, beneath the sink, and pay special attention to “new” additions to your gym’s changing room. Cameras concealed in radios and wall clocks have been around for decades. Now be suspicious of that bottle of shampoo that someone left in the shower. The limit to the installation is only limited by imagination, access, and time.
I have been retained in several civil cases involving illegal recording. It is a disturbing trend and personal awareness will reduce the opportunity. If you would like to learn more about spy cameras and how to detect them visit Mr. Kevin Murray’s web site at Counter Espionage or click Spy Camera Detection Training to go directly to the training.