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If you have reason to be suspicious of a partner or employer, or they have reason (good or bad) to be suspicious of you, and you fear they might be filming you with a hidden surveillance camera, what can you do about it, other than use some futuristic, James Bond-style The Best Bond Gadgets Of All Time The Best Bond Gadgets Of All Time James Bonds gadgets are legendary. In this article, we run down some of the most futuristic gadgets from the films, and see how they stand up in the era of the iWatch. Read More camera detection device?

Well, you could use a modern day, smartphone-style camera detection device.

You Are Being Watched

Someone is watching you. This is pretty much irrefutable in the post-Snowden era. But digital surveillance of emails and telephone records is a little less hair-raising than someone actually observing your movements via a hidden surveillance camera.


It’s unlikely that you have never been filmed out in public, either on CCTV or in the distance on a TV news report, and as a society we’ve become more accepting of closed circuit cameras, security cameras, and so on (rightly or wrongly).

But what about closer to home? What about in the office, development room, bathrooms and dressing rooms, or any number of places where you wouldn’t normally expect to find a camera watching your every move?

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Without being made aware of such surveillance in advance, you could find yourself being recorded, your movements and actions tracked, judged, no doubt misinterpreted. This intrusion might be performed using professionally manufactured security cameras, or custom built ones, perhaps using a webcam with an old PC Cammster: Use Webcam as Security Camera Cammster: Use Webcam as Security Camera Read More , or a Raspberry Pi Build a Motion Capture Security System Using a Raspberry Pi Build a Motion Capture Security System Using a Raspberry Pi Of the many projects that you can build with the Raspberry Pi, one of the most interesting and permanently useful is the motion capture security system. Read More .

It might even be an old smartphone or tablet, re-purposed for hidden observation How to Use an Old Smartphone or Tablet as a Security Camera How to Use an Old Smartphone or Tablet as a Security Camera Learn how to easily set up your Android device to act as a home security camera! Read More .

What can you do about this?

Smartphones Can Detect Hidden Surveillance Cameras!

While it might seem like something straight out of a James Bond movie, it is possible to use your smartphone to detect hidden cameras, as well as other 007 devices 3 James Bond Gadgets You Can Make From an Old Smartphone 3 James Bond Gadgets You Can Make From an Old Smartphone The smartphone is the most sophisticated gadget we carry with us everyday. And while we don’t have our own Q Branch working for us in a secret lab, thanks to a few intrepid DIY-ers and... Read More . In general, two common methods are used to achieve this.

The first is by using the smartphone hardware to detect electromagnetic fields Is Electromagnetic Radiation Dangerous? How To Protect Yourself? Is Electromagnetic Radiation Dangerous? How To Protect Yourself? Can cell phones cause cancer after all? The media certainly knows how to screw with facts. How does radiation emitted by electronics really affect your body? Well, calm down! It's not all that bad. Read More . With the installation of a single app, you can move your phone around the area you suspect a camera to be hidden, and if a strong field is detected, you can be sure there is a camera secreted within the wall or object.

Another way that smartphones can be used is by detecting light reflecting from a lens. While this method isn’t quite as reliable, it is still worth having such an app, if only to find small objects dropped on a carpet!

Using Android or iOS to Find a Hidden Camera

You’ll find apps for both major smartphone platforms available in the respective app stores. For iPhone, the $4.99 Hidden Camera Detector is the best option, while Android users should spend some time looking at Hidden Camera Detector. You can also check out Glint Finder for visible lens detection.

Remember that other options are available. If you have access to an infrared camera, for instance, this should detect a hidden camera, while low-cost devices using wireless networking may well appear in the list of nearby Wi-Fi devices Wireless Networking Simplified: The Terms You Should Know Wireless Networking Simplified: The Terms You Should Know Read More in your home.

If you’re particularly concerned, you might also consider a $130 piece of RF detection hardware, capable of reading the signals broadcast by traditional wireless cameras, as demonstrated here:

Use Android to Find a Hidden Surveillance Camera

Hidden Camera Detector for Android is a well-regarded app, and is free to download and install. With the app running on your device, finding the hidden camera should be straightforward, thanks to the radiation detection. This algorithm is constructed to reduce noise from other electromagnetic radiation, such as from cellphone towers, non-camera hardware, and even the Earth itself.


Ready to use when you load the app, the detector software will display a red glow when the smartphone is in the proximity of a camera. However, it will also glow when near other types of hardware, so keep an eye on the number displayed in the middle of the screen, as this will exceed 100 when a camera is detected.

For added camera detection magic, Hidden Camera Detector also features an IR mode (limited to portrait orientation) with which you can find cameras that have so far eluded you. This is done by pointing the smartphone at an area where a camera might be hidden and looking for a bright white disc. The disc indicates the presence of a hidden camera.

What to Do When You Find a Hidden Camera

It’s all very well knowing that a hidden surveillance camera is watching you, supposedly without your knowledge. But what should you do about it? Well, you could always take it to a higher authority, but in the meantime, you might wish to take action.

Note, however, that the problem with this is as soon as you do this, you may well alert the observer to your realization.

However, if you’re determined to be seen, you should employ things like masking tape or adhesive putty to cover the lens, or conduct affairs beyond the camera’s viewing angle. For cameras possibly hidden high up, in lightbulbs or smoke detectors, staying out of sight can be difficult.

Do you suspect unauthorized surveillance of your movements? Have you been filmed without your knowledge? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Image credits: alice-photo via

  1. Brian
    September 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I just got filmed in my local nature reserve walking my dog by two trail-cams, used by the council no doubt. Good luck answering a call of nature or surfers getting changed in the bush. This is the end of privacy as we know it.
    My first instinct was to smash them to bits - nice response from a law-abiding, tax paying citizen. This practice should be BANNED and the area sign-posted "Cams in use" if necessary. No doubt that will lead to just a "Cams in use in this State" crap everywhere.
    I really don't know where this will end.
    1984 is here.

  2. Jose
    May 2, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    What happens if the number exceeds more that 150.I have a area that exceeds to almost 600 please respond soon

  3. candice hall
    March 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I have had my android phone"hacked" per say for the last year..token calls made from my phone a hidden with pics underneath....videos on top of videos ....I know its my partner covering up his own actions but he's always a step ahead of I think he may be recording me at home we just got a brand new Toshiba smart TV can he use the TV as a camera .....we have been together for ten years and if he is cheating I want out!!!! Can someone help me please I can't believe that hackers the same ones are able to access my phone again and again especially when I get a new one and a new number.... Kind of like winning the lottery twice in my book ....I really need some answers please can you help.....

  4. Bill
    January 15, 2016 at 6:28 am

    The iOS app is awful and has terrible reviews.

  5. Billy
    January 5, 2016 at 6:45 am

    I would be worry that my bos is spying on me through my own smartphone. It is so easy to install an app that can use my camera without my knowladge. I own an Android device and the only security method for camera control is the permissions that the app should ask (and so many apps ask this permission even though they don't really need it). I just installed an app called "Cameraless" and I can block my camera at work automatically. I think it is very usefull and there are several apps at the market for this purpose.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 5, 2016 at 10:32 am

      A useful tip, but I think this is a slightly different problem, that of espionage against employees with work phones.

      To avoid being watched by unscrupulous, control freak bosses, refuse a work phone.

      I think we may look at this in more depth soon.

  6. Peter
    December 30, 2015 at 1:37 am

    As an owner of a business I flatly tell all employees that there are cameras in the shop and you are being recorded. they can decide if they want to stay with me. I handle cash and food and I just want to cover my bases...and it makes my insurance less.

  7. Markymark
    December 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Very bad suggestion on the iOS app. Fact check before you write suggestions.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Not my experience. Sorry yours didn't match, but hardly worth a rude post.

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