Watching me, watching you: New phone app brings video surveillance closer to home

private investigation mobile surveillance

A new app to allow you to use your phone or tablet as a surveillance camera will be a sight for sore eyes among nosey Parkers and self publicists everywhere.

Perfect for the suspicious husband or wannabe private investigator, this new device turns any Android phone into an advanced, hi-tech HD security and monitoring camera; allowing you to snoop on just about anyone or broadcast your life to those who might be interested.

There are obvious security advantages of this revolutionary 20:20 app. Mount it anywhere and use your everyday phone to watch and control everything. It’s even got built in alarms and you can add as many devices as you like that will all be linked to the system.

The 20:20 app is Wi-Fi and 3G supported, so you can sit the camera absolutely anywhere that there is an internet signal. The system then basically uses one device as the camera and another that is linked to it as a surveillance monitoring system.

The app even allows you to share with other devices around the world, so your holiday in the sun can be spent keeping an eye on the family car or making sure next door’s cat doesn’t mess in the garden – the ultimate in mobile surveillance.

20:20 is designed to be easily set-up by using the most basic of techniques. Just choose a Google account as your login and it’s as simple as that. Link additional devices in the same way, on the same account and they will appear on your screen too. You can even invite friends to join you and their cameras will be displayed also.

One obvious disadvantage with this system is that you will have to leave your phone or tablet rigged up somewhere for long periods of time, meaning it simply becomes not much more than a rather expensive all-seeing-eye; not to mention the excessive use of battery.

Some might point to the obvious ethical issues when it comes to the use of this software. Even though it’s an easily accessible phone app; you are still governed by the same privacy laws and regulations that apply to any other recording device – which in the UK are basically non-existent.

Despite a huge increase in people using recording and surveillance equipment to monitor their home and property; there are no clear laws on what, where and who you can film.

This may be about to change though.

Homeowners using security systems to protect their properties could be subjected to a new set of rules in the coming months, following a report from the Government’s surveillance camera commissioner Andrew Rennison.

Though there is no current legislation for private CCTV systems, the government recently introduced a ‘surveillance code of practice,’ aimed particularly at police and local authorities.

“People put systems up for very good reasons,” Mr Rennison told the Daily Mail recently. “And I will probably in the next year or so be publishing guidance to help them.”

“I expect to receive complaints from people about inappropriate use of CCTV, but I suspect the highest number of complaints I receive will be from private users or people who have neighbours using private systems.”

By Google+ Guest Author, Lucia Jordan, on behalf of Probe Investigations Ltd, based in the UK.

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