Something happened the other night. I thought for Freedom Friday I’d share it with you all. Soon after dinner, while sitting at the kitchen table reading something or other on my phone, I received a FaceTime request. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s like Skype, but for iPhone. Someone can open a video conferencing conversation with you and you can chat until you turn blue. It’s quite fun, but annoying if you have matted hair and haven’t washed before answering the phone.
Anyway, I didn’t know the person who called, but I thought, “Hey, it could be one of my friends.” So I answered it. Well, I didn’t think a situation like this could happen to me, but it did. The person on the other side of the camera unwittingly had called my number by mistake. I’m thinking it was a slip of a digit or some other far out reason they couldn’t get the number right on the keypad.
Next thing I know, I’m watching a feed of a man walking through a hospital, taking an elevator, and roaming around the halls. The sound was unclear, there were all sorts of video dropouts, but for three minutes, he had no idea he was broadcasting.
Now, before you go off thinking, “Hey, Jack, why didn’t you hang up?” Two reasons: First, I didn’t have a clue who or where this was taking place. Second, the video was harmless in the sense that it didn’t give away any private moment, personal details or anything funky like that.
It was just a guy roaming the halls of a hospital looking for, what I’m assuming, someone to visit.
Which brings me to my question: Had there been an intimate conversation or a privacy concern would any one of you have hung up? I’m asking this in light of the recent ruling by a Cincinnati federal appeals court that states accidental pocket dials or butt calls are not private. Judge Danny Boggs compared the situation to someone leaving the drapes open and expecting passersby to ignore what was going on inside.
You can think about that for a minute. In the meantime, I have something else on my mind.
I was viewing a video on YouTube the other day, and I watched how someone could easily plant snooping software on someone else’s phone without anyone’s knowledge. I’m not going to reference the video, but it left me wondering how difficult would it be to do the same thing on someone’s laptop, given the history of operating systems and the vulnerabilities they present?
With that in mind, and the butt call incident, I went around the whole house lacing masking tape over the cameras and microphones to all our devices. I don’t need anyone seeing me with matted hair and PJ’s while I eat my bowl of cereal in the morning. Besides, I now feel much safer knowing my roaming around the house will not make it on someone’s YouTube channel.
How about it? Do you think I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion?
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Does knowing your camera can become an accidental window for the world to view your life bother you? Like me, have you taken the drastic measure of covering all the cameras in your home?