Camera surveillance is a fact of life in the modern world. Unfortunately, hidden cameras are everywhere, whether we want them or not! Instead of becoming a victim to prying eyes, you can protect yourself with these simple tips.
From department store dressing rooms to public bathrooms, you just never know if your reflection is the only one looking back at you. If you live in any of the 13 states listed below, then you are lucky! Otherwise, be diligent and pay attention to your surroundings when public mirrors are involved.
Hidden surveillance in dressing rooms illegal in these states:
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Utah.
No Cameras Here
NBC affiliate 14 News found that these popular stores have voluntarily chosen not to have hidden cameras or two-way mirrors in their dressing rooms:
- Charlotte Russe
- Gap & Gap Kids
- JC Penny
- Old Navy
- Victoria's Secret
Even if a company publicly claims not to use surveillance, you should still use your own judgement if you feel uncomfortable.
Check It Out
Closely examine the mirror for tell-tale signs that it could be a sneaky impostor. If it looks like it's embedded into the wall, that might be a cause for concern. However, if it's just hanging off the wall with visible edges, there's probably nothing to worry about. Two-way mirrors are usually constructed to be hidden within the wall itself, so the edges will be flush with the wall and won't poke out.
Try Tapping On It
Lightly tap on the surface of the mirror with your fingers. Generally, most public mirrors are attached to the wall. A true mirror will sound flat, and your knock will only produce a dull thud that comes directly from the wall behind it. However, two-way mirrors are one solid piece that will reverberate and sound hollow because there's open space on the other side.
Is It See-Through?
Don't let surveillance creeps see through to what you're doing in private! Try to see if you can peer through to the other side. Place your fingers on either side of your eyes to block out external light, and press your face up against the mirror. If someone other than your own close-up nose is looking down on you, then you know it's a two-way mirror.
Light It Up
Lighting is everything. If the lighting conditions on both sides of a two-way mirror are the same, you will actually be able to see through to the other side. That's why it's creepily dark on the surveillance side of two-way mirrors. They want to keep the room and their activities hidden in the dark! Even the playing field by using a flashlight or the flash on your camera phone. If you are looking into a two way mirror, you'll be able to see the light shining through to the other side.
The Finger Test
Put your finger up to the mirror. Do your fingers touch? In a regular mirror, there will be a tiny gap between your finger and the reflection. This is because there's a second layer of glass over the reflecting layer. If the mirror is two-way, your fingers will touch and become seamless, almost appearing as if it were one super long finger!
Watch this video to see the finger test in action.
The best way to protect yourself from unexpected exposure is to be savvy about your surroundings. Check to see if the mirror seems legit by using all of the tips mentioned above. If you have a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach, you may possibly be sensing someone on the other side of the mirror. However, most legitimate surveillance will only have a camera recording events. If you sense a person, or feel your privacy has been invaded, you may wish to contact law enforcement. Just remember that nothing is keeping you in the room and you are free to leave!