How to Use Your Phone to Detect Hidden Surveillance Cameras at Home

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If you have reason to be suspicious of a partner or employer, or they have reason (good or bad) to be suspicious of you, and you fear they might be filming you with a hidden surveillance camera, what can you do about it, other than use some futuristic, James Bond-style camera detection device


If you have reason to be suspicious of a partner or employer, or they have reason (good or bad) to be suspicious of you, and you fear they might be filming you with a hidden surveillance camera, what can you do about it, other than use some futuristic, James Bond-style camera detection device?

Well, you could use a modern day, smartphone-style camera detection device.

You Are Being Watched
Someone is watching you. This is pretty much irrefutable in the post-Snowden era. But digital surveillance of emails and telephone records is a little less hair-raising than someone actually observing your movements via a hidden surveillance camera.


It’s unlikely that you have never been filmed out in public, either on CCTV or in the distance on a TV news report, and as a society we’ve become more accepting of closed circuit cameras, security cameras, and so on (rightly or wrongly).

But what about closer to home? What about in the office, development room, bathrooms and dressing rooms, or any number of places where you wouldn’t normally expect to find a camera watching your every move?

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Without being made aware of such surveillance in advance, you could find yourself being recorded, your movements and actions tracked, judged, no doubt misinterpreted. This intrusion might be performed using professionally manufactured security cameras, or custom built ones, perhaps using a webcam with an old PC, or a Raspberry Pi.

It might even be an old smartphone or tablet, re-purposed for hidden observation.

What can you do about this?

Smartphones Can Detect Hidden Surveillance Cameras!
While it might seem like something straight out of a James Bond movie, it is possible to use your smartphone to detect hidden cameras, as well as other 007 devices. In general, two common methods are used to achieve this.

The first is by using the smartphone hardware to detect electromagnetic fields. With the installation of a single app, you can move your phone around the area you suspect a camera to be hidden, and if a strong field is detected, you can be sure there is a camera secreted within the wall or object.

Another way that smartphones can be used is by detecting light reflecting from a lens. While this method isn’t quite as reliable, it is still worth having such an app, if only to find small objects dropped on a carpet!

Using Android or iOS to Find a Hidden Camera
You’ll find apps for both major smartphone platforms available in the respective app stores. For iPhone, the $4.99 Hidden Camera Detector is the best option, while Android users should spend some time looking at Hidden Camera Detector. You can also check out Glint Finder for visible lens detection.

Remember that other options are available. If you have access to an infrared camera, for instance, this should detect a hidden camera, while low-cost devices using wireless networking may well appear in the list of nearby Wi-Fi devices in your home.

If you’re particularly concerned, you might also consider a $130 piece of RF detection hardware, capable of reading the signals broadcast by traditional wireless cameras, as demonstrated here:

Use Android to Find a Hidden Surveillance Camera
Hidden Camera Detector for Android is a well-regarded app, and is free to download and install. With the app running on your device, finding the hidden camera should be straightforward, thanks to the radiation detection. This algorithm is constructed to reduce noise from other electromagnetic radiation, such as from cellphone towers, non-camera hardware, and even the Earth itself.


Ready to use when you load the app, the detector software will display a red glow when the smartphone is in the proximity of a camera. However, it will also glow when near other types of hardware, so keep an eye on the number displayed in the middle of the screen, as this will exceed 100 when a camera is detected.

For added camera detection magic, Hidden Camera Detector also features an IR mode (limited to portrait orientation) with which you can find cameras that have so far eluded you. This is done by pointing the smartphone at an area where a camera might be hidden and looking for a bright white disc. The disc indicates the presence of a hidden camera.

What to Do When You Find a Hidden Camera
It’s all very well knowing that a hidden surveillance camera is watching you, supposedly without your knowledge. But what should you do about it? Well, you could always take it to a higher authority, but in the meantime, you might wish to take action.

Note, however, that the problem with this is as soon as you do this, you may well alert the observer to your realization.

However, if you’re determined to be seen, you should employ things like masking tape or adhesive putty to cover the lens, or conduct affairs beyond the camera’s viewing angle. For cameras possibly hidden high up, in lightbulbs or smoke detectors, staying out of sight can be difficult.

Do you suspect unauthorized surveillance of your movements? Have you been filmed without your knowledge? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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