The use of hidden spy cam films are a form of harassment of the unsuspected victim
Films are distributed very fast on the internet so if you have found out that you have been secretly filmed in bed or anywhere that you expect privacy, you are probably feeling violated, angry, harassed and distressed.
Whether the secretly filmed in bed videos are on the net already or whether you are worried because you have just discovered a hidden camera where you are staying, you should act fast but not panic.
Filming someone secretly in bed is a crime, as well as a civil wrongdoing. Voyeurism is a crime which could carry a prison sentence of 2 years. It matters not whether the videos of being secretly filmed in bed are posted online, only viewed by the offender or never viewed at all. The reality is that this crime is increasing in frequency together with the surge in spy camera sales. We are all vulnerable to being secretly filmed, with the recordings showing up on porn websites or being livestreamed to voyeuristic sites online.
The criminal offence of Voyeurism attracts a prison sentence for anyone who is operating equipment that is secretly spying on someone without their consent, regardless of whether the footage is recorded. What matters is the intention of the viewing, or enabling another person to view their victim's genitals, with or without underwear, where the purpose is to obtain sexual gratification or cause humiliation, distress or alarm.
You do not need to publish the secretly filmed movies in order to commit a crime. The act of filming someone in a compromised position is enough to constitute a crime. You can read the article What are the Laws on Operating a Hidden Camera for more information. From the victim's point of view, the existence of the secretly filmed videos, without any publication, is sufficient to constitute harassment as the videos could become the subject of blackmail and to unlawful publications. The civil wrongdoing of the Misuse of Private Information is already committed during the secret filming.
In addition to it being a criminal act, voyeurism could also give rise to a civil claim for breach of privacy which could result in substantial compensation being paid to the victim, as well as to the common law wrongdoing of the Misuse of Private Information. You may also claim for civil harassment and obtain a number of court orders to prevent the use and publication of secretly filmed movies. If you find that the police are being unhelpful, or if you, for your own reasons do not wish to get the police involved, it is possible to handle the entire matter through the civil courts, where we will ensure that you anonymity is fully reserved and that your name does not appear on any court papers. You will be able to obtain an injunction to make sure videos are destroyed and unpublished.
Regardless of whether it is being livestreamed or not, if you discover a hidden spy cam in a place where you expected privacy, take a picture for evidence, do not move anything and consider calling the police or a specialist lawyer for further advice. Too often, we hear that police fob people off and say that there isn't anything that they can do about being secretly filmed in bed or in a changing area.
If you get little help with the police or if you want matters to move faster, speak to a specialist harassment and privacy lawyer that specialises in internet law. There are only a few in the UK with such expertise in privacy law and internet law. Understanding how the internet works and what is at stake here requires a great deal of real life experience in this very sensitive legal field. Few lawyers in the UK have this level of expertise.
A specialist privacy lawyer will liaise with the police, if she/he needs to, and ensure that they treat this privacy violation with seriousness. The privacy lawyer will also obtain as much information as possible about who uploaded your secretly filmed in bed video from any porn or voyeuristic website operator and request that they preserve evidence in case you bring a civil claim against the person that violated your privacy. In most cases, we are able to track down the perpetrator by all sorts of electronic means. We have a team of investigators who can match people to email addresses, IP addresses and locations. Once we have tracked them down, we will obtain legal guarantees from them, often through the courts, to hand over all secretly filmed footage of you. In some cases we will apply for disclosure orders and third part subpoenas that will support our tracking efforts. We have teams of USA internet law attorneys with whom we work regularly to obtain disclosure orders in the USA or from a website operator in the USA.
Usually, the offender will remove any secretly filmed movies of you that they have created and published. If they do not, or if it is impossible for them to do so, we can obtain worldwide injunctions which we serve on website operators and websites across the world. Often, a single court order from the High Court in London, will be sufficient to effect the removal of dozens of copies of a video from the entire internet. To be able to remove secretly filmed videos, you will need the support of trusted and experienced specialist lawyers.
When using a changing room, staying at an Airbnb, guest house or even staying at a friend's home, we expect privacy and do not expect to be secretly filmed in bed. So, the feeling of sickness and horror, when you discover a spy cam yourself because maybe you woke in the night and heard a strange buzzing sound, is all encompassing.
Unfortunately, voyeurs are placing hidden spy cams in lamps, air vents, plants, near sockets, light switches, smoke detectors, digital TV boxes, mirrors, tissue boxes; wherever it could be hidden and placed strategically so that people can be secretly filmed in bed. Any footage could have been uploaded to a voyeurism website already or could be being stream recorded live to the internet.
The way to check whether livestreaming of being secretly filmed in bed is happening, is to check the Wi-fi networks on your mobile phone. It could come up as Hiddenweb or Internetlive or something similar. Look for anything unusual. There are apps that scan networks with the IP address, so check for one of those, also.
It is unfortunate that you have to be so wary when you do stay in a hotel room or Airbnb or are changing in a public area but there are ways to spot a hidden spy camera:
Use of mobile phone
Turn off the lights and shine the light from your mobile phone slowly around the room, including the mirrors, to pick up any reflecting areas. When the lights are off, you can detect mirrors that are not one-way, also.
Call somebody and walk around the room to detect any disturbance in your phone call. A spy camera will give off a radio frequency that will create intermittent breaks and interfere with your conversation.
Use your eyes
Have a good look around the room and take note of any objects that could be placed alongside plants, TV boxes, lamps, wall sockets, bins, door hooks, pictures, pens and desk items, cushions, air filters, ceiling lights, smoke detectors and mirrors, for instance.
Look for unusual fixings
Note any suspicious wires or lights. Drape some clothing or tape over anything that does look suspicious.
Remove equipment you don't need
Unplug everything that you do not need. For example, you don't need their alarm clock or radio. You can use your phone instead for waking up or your computer to play music. Turn off electronic devices that have no use to you at the time.
Use your ears
Listen for any tiny buzzing transmitting sounds.