China’s Baidu, Qihu 360 release free mobile software to spot spy cameras

“The Truman Show” in real life has sparked concerns among the Chinese public.

Photo: tuchong.stock.com

Chinese search giant Baidu and cybersecurity firm Qihu 360 have separately rolled out mobile solutions this week to allow smartphone users to detect hidden cameras, as several reported voyeuristic spycam crimes make the public wary of the privacy threat.

The “Privacy Protection Special Version,” the app developed by Baidu, can spot tiny cameras set secretly in places like hotels, public restrooms and changing rooms, when hidden cameras and cellphones are connected with the same wireless internet, the company claimed in a press statement.

These cameras – always in disguises such as satellite boxes, electric sockets, curtains and lights – need a Wi-Fi connection to work and voyeurs can then operate the devices remotely. What’s worse is that videos recorded surreptitiously are very likely to be uploaded online or even live-streamed for profits.

Qihu 360, known for its antivirus software and Web browser, has also added a similar offering to its mobile app, 360 Safeguard, to tackle illicit electronic spying.

Both apps are currently available on Android devices and the companies said the versions for iOS will be launched soon.