Amazon is facing criticism and a legal case over clothes hook spy cameras and a host of other hidden cameras that are for sale on its website.
The cameras are advertised as “spy cameras” or nanny cams” and are fitted with motion detection. The BBC reports that one of the listings features a picture of a clothes hook spy camera in a bathroom.
A case currently making its way through the courts of West Virginia centers around just that: a foreign exchange student alleges she was filmed in a bathroom while still a child by a camera disguised as a clothes hook.
The student claims the clothes hook was purchased on Amazon and while the man allegedly responsible is facing trial, a judge recently ruled that the retail giant must also face the case.
Her complaint to the West Virginian United States District Court notes that the listing on Amazon was advertised with the phrase “it won’t attract attention” along with a picture of it with a towel hung on it.
The student, who comes from Brazil, argues that it was “foreseeable” that the clothes hook spy camera would be used in this way.
Amazon disagrees and says that it is not responsible for how the camera is used. It has attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the case dismissed.
Hidden Cameras are Readily Available
A search for “hidden camera” on Amazon.com brings up a plethora of clandestine recording devices: cameras hidden in wall chargers, car keys, photo frames, Bluetooth speakers, pens, alarm clocks, USB chargers, and even the Christian cross.
The BBC reports that there is a “bathroom spy camera” listed disguised as a shower radio. According to the complaint, Amazon’s Product Safety Team has the responsibility for reviewing products before listing to ensure that, among other things, do not “surreptitiously record others for sexual purposes.”
A campaigner against voyeurism, Gina Martin, tells the BBC that the victims of hidden cameras are often women and girls.
“Retailers do need to be doing more. They need to be stamping out hidden cameras because there are very few instances in which hiding the fact that you’re filming someone is applicable or acceptable,” says Miller.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.