A new floor lamp by Panasonic has sparked privacy concerns due to its ‘secret’ security camera which can record a room discretely.
The HomeHawk FLOOR lamp has a small camera with numerous features: a 140-degree wide-angle lens, full HD and night recording modes, motion sensor technology and the ability to remotely view footage in live time through a mobile app.
Panasonic is marketing the floor lamp as a home monitoring camera.
The floor lamp currently doesn’t support cloud storage, meaning that footage is saved to a MicroSD card, but that hasn’t dampened fears from an online tech magazine that the lamp could be abused as a spy camera in addition to its use as a home security system.
“Think about where these things could be placed, spying on us without us knowing it: Doctor’s offices, rental houses, public bathrooms, the living rooms or bedrooms of our significant others, hotel rooms,” wrote Kim Wetzel with Digital Trends. “If home surveillance technology is making its way into a benign floor lamp, what’s next? A spying couch?”
“…Maybe this isn’t as big of a deal as the HomeHawk catching you dancing in your underwear at a hotel, but it does feel invasive nonetheless – much more so than a simple surveillance camera mounted in the corner of the store to record robberies,” she added.
On a similar note, for the past several years a variety of news outlets have been reporting on privacy concerns with “smart technology,” particularly household appliances which are connected to the Internet.
Wired.com, for example, ran a 2012 article entitled CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher.
More recently, however, NBC Chicago reported that a homeowner’s Nest security cameras were taken over by hackers.
“Right as I approached the baby’s room, I heard a deep voice talking to him,” the homeowner said, adding that the Nest thermostat was also turned up to 90 degrees.
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