I think I’m being watched

As far as having my photo taken goes, I’m a bit like those ancient African tribesmen who (so myth has it) thought that their souls would be stolen if they had their picture taken.

But I live in London and everywhere I turn there’s a camera somewhere pointing at me. I can’t leave my flat without having my soul zapped (assuming the camera above the front door is working).

There are tourists everywhere, getting in my way with their posing or aiming their cameras at the bus as I’m gazing out of the window. And even though that highly dubious figure of 300 snaps a day for your average person in the UK is bandied about willy-nilly, it’s probably fair to say that I am pictured in an awful lot more photos than I’d prefer (ie none).

I put up with this, usually uncomplaining, because I realise that the CCTV cameras are there for a reason. If they help even one baddie to be locked up, then they’ve done a good job. Besides, I don’t wander around doing things I’d be too worried about other people seeing.

That said, over the last few months there’s one camera that has been making me a little bit nervous. It’s the camera that points at me every time I open the lid on my laptop.

CCTV screensI’ve never connected it – don’t even know how to – but what if it’s just on, without my knowing?

 What if ‘on’ is the default setting and every time I log on, there is someone, somewhere just staring at me as I type. How would I ever know?

Unless they made some sort of collage-type film and when I turn on the TV one day, there will be a film of me staring back at myself, looking – let’s just say – not at my best.

Although I realise this is some kind of vanity – I mean, why would anyone choose me to stare at over anyone else? – but in these times people seem to like staring at people doing bugger all.

Take Big Brother for example. People watch that crap even in the middle of the night when all the freaks contestants are sleeping. And as Big Brother is taking its final breaths, the producers are sure to be looking around for their next project.

So, if you’re somebody who knows and feel up to a bit of soul-saving, please explain to me how to tell if my laptop camera is recording anything. Until then, where’s that gaffer tape?

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One response to “I think I’m being watched

  1. Oh now. I’m not an expert in these things but I hear that this can genuinely be an issue. I think it’s wisest to direct you to a techie website like cnet rather than try to answer myself. With a bit of googling you can no doubt find an occasion when someone else already asked a similar question, or you could ask them yourself – think that entails joining up though.

    “If they help even one baddie to be locked up, then they’ve done a good job. ”

    I tend to disagree with this, because it’s not a matter of just doing some scrap of good – it’s about the wider, unintended effects as well as the money spent, e.g. you could use a nuclear bomb to stop a bank-robbery, but it would be expensive, only partly solve the problem, and would have unintended short and long-term consequences. 🙂

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