How To Know If There Is A Hidden Camera

As a race, humans are under surveillance and recorded more than ever. There are cameras everywhere today. Ironically, considering that the sale of personal digital cameras is at an all-time low, more people use cameras than ever before.

This is owed to the prevalence of mobile devices. Every smartphone has a camera installed, and they are used to record selfies and make videos for social networking platforms.

On street corners and in subways there are CCTV cameras. Shops, private property, public areas, all are monitored 24/7 by cameras.

According to Statista, China has the most surveillance cameras in the world, although the states and UK are also heavily monitored.

But, while most of these cameras are either to help keep people safe or in the case of mobiles, used for fun, some cameras can be used for other reasons.

How can you determine if there is a covert camera in place?

While most cameras are visible, and many will even be advertised, sometimes they may be hidden.

It may be that you wish to find out if you are being recorded covertly, and discover where these cameras are. To do so could be extremely time-consuming and difficult.

Would you even know where to start searching? If you had a large house, it could take days to search every room thoroughly. 

Fortunately, there are devices available for finding hidden cameras.

What devices are there to find hidden cameras?

If you have ever watched a spy movie such as James Bond, or Mission Impossible, then you may have seen bug detectors being used.

These detectors are used in real life too to search for hidden surveillance devices such as bugs, and cameras.

They are simple to use and the user’s guide explains how they can search for camera lenses, and pick up on RF signals being emitted.

An RF signal is also known as radio frequency. This is an electromagnetic wave that can provide communication from one point to another. This means that one device can send information through the air to another even though they aren’t connected.

Bug and camera detectors can pick up on a range of these radio frequencies and notify the user that there is a hidden device nearby.

Why would someone use a hidden camera?

You may be surprised to discover that in many instances, hidden cameras are legal. As long as they are not in an area where people could reasonably expect privacy, there is often nothing illegal about using hidden cameras.

There are exceptions of course, such as planting hidden cameras in a competitor’s business, or in bathrooms.

There are many legitimate reasons to use hidden surveillance cameras. They may be because a business owner suspects foul play at work. Perhaps stock and other items have been going missing.

However, some people place hidden cameras to spy and gather information that legally they are not allowed to do.

For example, perhaps you are working with sensitive information, or on a project of high value. Your competitor or a rival government may wish to steal your information and use cameras to do so.

Some countries have less freedom than America too. In Beijing, the capital of China, there are 1,150,000 surveillance cameras, and the government is well known for observing its population and their habits.

Are hidden cameras illegal?

As mentioned above, hidden cameras are not illegal per se. The use of them is how the legality is defined.

The Reporters Committee lists the legal position on surveillance devices across the states of America. Across the states, these laws differ, but by and large, they all aim to protect the individual’s privacy from being secretly filmed.

If you put a hidden camera in your own home in the living room, the entrance hall, or the kitchen, then you would be unlikely to be breaking any laws. There would be no reason to gain consent from anyone being filmed in these circumstances.

If someone hid a camera in someone’s bedroom or bathroom without their permission, however, then they would be breaking privacy laws.


One of the interesting facts about New York is that there are only 18,000 surveillance cameras for such a large city.

Nevertheless, the USA itself has more surveillance cameras per capita than any other nation, including that of China. This might be surprising considering the reputation of China although it may also be due to law enforcement concerns.

Chicago for instance, has a high crime rate, and also double the number of cameras that New York has. These cameras are to help law enforcement, traffic control, and other positive elements of society. 

Hidden cameras can be used also to keep property and people safe. Yet in today’s world of high technology, and billion-dollar business deals, hidden cameras can be used for bad too.

Bug detectors can be used though to find these hidden cameras, and keep data and sensitive information safe from spies and industrial espionage.


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