7 Places You Didn’t Know Had Hidden Cameras

Is there such a thing as privacy anymore? You probably didn’t realize that these seven innocent spots have hidden cameras watching you.

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Hidden cameras in ATMs
Photo: ShutterStock


You probably know your bank’s branch has security cameras watching to make sure thieves don’t steal your account information, but not all cameras are used for good. Thieves can hide cameras under fake covers that have tiny holes to record through, like the ones found recently in ATMs in London, England. Those cameras record you as you punch in your PIN. Most ATMs are safe from the hidden cameras, but if you notice anything fishy that looks like the machine could have been tampered with, pick another place to withdraw cash. You’ll also want to change your settings immediately if you use any of these 25 passwords.

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There are hidden cameras in elevators
Photo: ShutterStock


An empty elevator seems like an exceptionally private place to dig something out of your teeth or adjust your panties, but there could still be eyes on you. Look at the ceiling and you might spot a security camera keeping a watchful eye. (That even applies to the world’s top 10 elevator rides.) It’s clear why they can help, catching incidents of violence instead of letting aggressors hide behind closed doors. For instance, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was cut from the team after a video of him striking his now-wife in an elevator was released. You do have some degree of privacy, though. Elevator cameras can’t record sound, which would violate wiretapping laws, and they are always high up instead of at eye level, according to The Atlantic.

Surprise, surprise—elevators are one of the 11 public places with the most germs. Ick!

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There are hidden cameras on a school bus
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Your child’s school bus

For obvious reasons, schools need to take precautions to protect their students, like keeping doors locked and requiring visitors to check in. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, three-quarters of schools also use security cameras. While you might be unsurprised (and relieved!) to see cameras watching entrances and hallways, you might not realize just how many cameras some schools have. Some districts in the United States have added cameras in buses, classrooms, and other areas, according to NPR. Check out 12 more things you didn’t know about school.

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Traffic lights have hidden cameras
Photo: Shutterstock

Traffic lights

Looking up to see a camera watching every car that goes by might seem a bit Big Brother, but they have their uses, and you can tell what it is just by looking at it. Some cameras monitor traffic, while others catch drivers running red lights. Signal control cameras are small cameras on top of traffic lights, and they replace sensors that used to be cut into pavement. They can’t move around, and their quality is only good enough to sense if a vehicle is there and the light should change, but it’s not strong enough to take a picture of a license plate, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. Cameras that can bust you for running a red are bigger and are mounted near—but not on—traffic lights, according to nj.com. Here’s the mathematical way you’re probably driving wrong.

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Laptops have hidden cameras
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Your laptop

Sure, you already know your laptop has a camera. But here’s the question: Is it recording you without you knowing? Creepily enough, it might be. Hackers can use malware to turn on another person’s laptop camera remotely to record you without your knowledge. Luckily, you can beef up your security with these 13 things you should know about online privacy.

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Hidden cameras in hospital rooms
Photo: ShutterStock

Hospital rooms

Cameras in hospital patient rooms aren’t the privacy violation you might think. Because there are safety issues at hand, hospitals are allowed to install security cameras in patients’ rooms. Fujitsu even developed a camera that can recognize when a patient sits up or even has a restless night’s sleep. Check out these other 33 secrets hospitals are keeping from you.

Learn how to decode the outrageous lingo that doctors and nurses use behind your back!

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Hidden cameras in hotel rooms
Photo: ShutterStock

Hotel rooms

Thankfully, this is another rare case—but it could happen. Guests have been horrified to find hidden cameras in hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals without having given any consent. Hotels won’t put cameras in rooms, and hidden surveillance devices are against Airbnb’s rules. The chance of someone breaking those rules are rare, but you can still keep an eye out when you’re travelling. Look out for holes in devices like alarm clocks and smoke detectors, or in objects you don’t always see in hotel rooms, like bouquets of flowers, security expert Chris Falkenberg recommends to CBS News. Just as horrifying? The reason why you should never sit in a hotel chair.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest