Wireless Camera Could Invade Your Privacy

Wednesday, April 15th 2009, 11:03 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- It is possible to sneak a peek inside what many believe to be private.  A Bixby man recently bought a backup camera for his pickup, so he could see better when backing his trailers.  But, he got much more than he bargained for with his $99 camera.  Driving around, he was shocked to find he could see inside businesses and even people's homes.

There are steps you can take to protect your privacy.

Marcus Gibson says he got tired of backing over things in his big Dodge pickup, so he bought a little wireless back up camera system.  The camera attaches near the license plate and has a 2.4 gigahertz wireless transmitter that attaches to the backup light and sends video to the monitor on the dashboard, which plugs into the cigarette lighter.

But, as Gibson began driving around town, he noticed he was picking up other people's wireless cameras on his monitor.

"Very weird, lots of things I can see, I don't want to see," said Marcus Gibson.

Pulling up to a business, Gibson could watch himself on his camera.  He's seen inside banks, convenience stores, cash registers and even where valuables are hidden.

"The weirdest thing I saw was a video store near Arkansas. When the image came up, there was a wall full of guns," said Marcus Gibson.

But, that's not the scariest.  He can also see right inside people's homes.

"Yes, and I'm sure they don't know I can see them," said Marcus Gibson.

Driving past one house, a man could be seen inside sitting on his couch, smoking a cigarette.  The man could even be seen moving around the room.  The man was unaware he was being watched.

But, what really unnerved Marcus and made him decide to contact The News On 6 was when he saw a baby sleeping in a crib.

The woman didn't want her baby shown on TV, but she agreed to put a doll in her child's crib to help illustrate what could be seen clear as day.

"When I drove by Saturday night and saw the image of the baby and you think about that mother who thinks she's protecting her child, but it's no different than having a video screen outside, showing everybody driving by, what's going on inside the baby bed," said Marcus Gibson.

Gibson says it's ironic the people who think they have cameras for security, actually end up being the least secure of all.

If you have a wireless camera system at your home or business, your signal can be picked up by other wireless transmitters.  To prevent that, you can switch to a hard-wired system or buy a wireless signal jammer.  Those are sold online for around $200.