Police turn to secretly-recorded bathroom footage to find crime suspects

Walk into a bathroom, and you can find a full police squad next to the sink — or should we say, near the toilet? The hidden cameras are recording all the activity. The idea is to see what kind of curious characters frequent the bathrooms or small rooms when it’s not inconveniently timed — particularly during holidays or times of peak tourist season. The idea behind the devices is to find the person who might be following you on public transport or chatting with you in a coffee shop, then analyze and map out their location in the city or other part of the world.

A surveillance device made in China can quietly capture footage from public toilets and might help you spot “trespassers.” (Reuters)

But this is not your average camera, which works on a regular, real-time basis. The device can turn on and off, capturing and storing videos whenever a device is moved, even while the camera is switched off. The system, created by Chinese software firm Enlight, can be swapped out for nearly any kind of camera — including an A.I.-enhanced one using Google Maps.

The system is particularly valuable to urban police forces, which can sometimes face a very small budget when it comes to surveillance operations. But also, if police don’t have any vision of suspects or witnesses, the public might not believe that they exist at all.

Many may also be nervous about privacy concerns. (Reuters)

However, after a couple of fail-safes were introduced and the footage has been destroyed when cameras die — should you be so lucky as to die in a shooting or terrorism attack — the website reports that you should be able to find someone in your vicinity. “The CCTV in a bin has improved from color to black and white,” the website said. “You need to measure 1 meter from the start of the surveillance tape until you reach the glass bin. This is a proven indicator. For you it is an easy yes.”

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