So you can discover from your cell phone if there are cameras that are spying on you

File photo. | Credit: / YONHAP / AFP

Technological advances have allowed many devices to stop being cumbersome or bulky; However, this advance has not only brought advantages.

Currently, spy cameras are increasingly small and difficult to detect with the naked eye, generating distrust in people when entering establishments or when acquiring services such as hotels or renting an Airbnb, since there are many experiences that can be found in social media regarding spy camera issues.

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To combat this problem, a variety of “camera signal detectors” can be found on Amazon and other platforms, however, several researchers from the National University of Singapore and Yonsei University in South Korea are working on a system that will detect spy cameras through ToF (Time of Flight) sensors that are present in some references of current mobile phones.

Although there are already some systems that detect the presence of hidden cameras, these methods can reveal their existence but cannot detect their location.

The proposal of this system is called ‘Laser-Assisted Photographic Detection’ (LAPD for its acronym in English) and seeks to take advantage of the lasers of ToF sensors (normally used by phone cameras to measure depth by means of lasers) to locate the reflections of the lenses of this type of hidden cameras. To meet this objective, it is planned to develop an application and an algorithm of machine learning.

According to those responsible for this project, through the camera, the user will be able to walk around the corners of the spaces where they suspect the existence of cameras and through an augmented reality environment, the application would indicate where they are.

The research also concluded that through an experiment carried out on 379 people, who were placed in an environment with different hidden cameras, they were able to identify 46 percent of the cameras with the naked eye on average, while with the help of the application, LAPD was able to identify hidden cameras 88.9 percent of the time.

File photo.  |  Credit: YONHAP / AFP
File photo. | Credit: YONHAP / AFP

Recommendations for detecting hidden cameras in case of suspicion

Because the application is not open to the public and a camera signal detector is not always on hand, if there is suspicion of the existence of a hidden camera, it is important that people check that the walls or furniture do not count with small holes, and if you find any, it is important to check that there are no lenses in the background.

Check any devices that exist in the room such as clocks, lamps, routers, etc. It can also be useful to take the time to look for some kind of light that comes from some corner of the room. Another resource that can be helpful is to use the flashlight of mobile devices to detect some kind of reflection in a suspected corner.