A coffee shop in Montreal has removed a “dud” security camera from its bathroom after news of it hit the local papers. Corporate headquarters asked the franchise owner to take it down, and apologized/avoided blame in a press release that said they were “not consulted in advance.” The franchise owner had installed it as a sort of junkie scarecrow, to frighten away heroin users who were leaving dirty needles in the bathroom stall.
Privacy advocates are upset about the whole thing and considering legal action, but since the camera was a “non-working decoy” it will be hard to argue that any personal data was actually being recorded.
“There isn’t any real material difference between a fake camera and a real camera,” he said. “Whether they’re real or fake, you still have the feeling of being watched.”
One patron of the Second Cup in question appeared to be more sympathetic with the owner’s intentions.
“I am conscious the owner has to do something about the problem,” said Steve Beshwaty as he enjoyed a cup of coffee.
“I don’t find it particularly appealing to have a camera in the bathroom, but I understand the owner. ”
(Thanks to Kim!)
“Second Cup store removes bathroom surveillance cam” [CTV]