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Big Brother Is Here

Thanks to technology that makes cameras easier to conceal, whatever privacy you have is getting more precious every day.

CBS This Morning co-anchor Thalia Assuras explains how the prying eyes of others may be focused on you.


Do you ever have that feeling that you're being watched? Do you ever think that your private moments are attracting unwanted attention? You could be on to something. There are countless places - inside your home, on the job or along neighborhood streets - where cameras can monitor your every move.

Norman Siegel of the New York Civil Liberties Union says cameras are all over: "Unless we confront this issue," he says, "we're going to wake up one morning and we're going to find that somebody is watching us everywhere we go in the public streets. And that is very troublesome from a civil liberties perspective."

Tom Felice of the Counter Spy Shop, says New Yorkers are watched a lot. "You can be seen in any radius of a couple blocks, five, six, seven times," he says.

Felice says he sells hidden camera devices in a number of shops.
"Our number one interest from the public would be the discrete video systems." He adds, "These systems are used to prevent or deter or catch vandalism or criminal activity," such as a parent looking for surveillance on a nanny.

Some discreet devices include a camera hidden in a pocket pen. The video is transmitted, so someone on the other end could watch or record it.

Felice says there also are stationary devices that that are useful for home surveillance when you are away, such as a picture frame with a camera hidden behind the photo.
"You can take a picture frame into the home. You hang that on the wall, wire it to a VCR. Later in the day you'd watch the tape of what happened," says Felice.

Other devices include small cameras hidden behind an alarm clock's numbers. Felice says the technology has been around for a while - but it gets smaller and smaller.

And with a computer, says Fellice, "You can set up any one of the devicesÂ…you can wire that directly into a phone line and then from a remote location dial into the system that has been hidden inside." That way, you can dial up a camera at home from a computer at work.

If you're curious about the price tag, Felice says, "This is software programming with a camera and a lens. They start anywhere from a few hundred up to several thousand."

And, by the way, it is legal.

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