50 percent of Americans would use camera phones to spy on others


According to a new Harris Interactive survey conducted with over 2,300 people, 50 percent of American adults have no problem whipping out the smartphone to take secret videos of unsuspecting people. While this doesn’t mean that all respondents have come across an opportunity to spy on someone, they did list several scenarios that would cause them to hit the record button. The most popular response at 23 percent was recording people in embarrassing outfits, perhaps to upload a silly compilation on YouTube. Fifteen percent of mean-spirited survey takers would use the video function to record someone tripping and falling.

At this point, the responses devolve into a sexual nature. Ten percent would record a “sexy waitress” at a restaurant, nine percent would film the shirtless gardener mowing the neighbor’s lawn, seven percent would film cheerleaders discreetly and five percent would film another couple kissing or making out. Beyond those responses, seven percent would film the boss sneaking a second doughnut and six percent would film anyone with disgusting grooming habits.

coworker-sleepingWhen it comes to online video, 57 percent of Americans would find a work-related video funny or interesting if filmed and uploaded by a co-worker. The most popular choice for online work videos are pranks pulled on fellow co-workers. In addition, 27 percent of the respondents would love to watch imitations of the boss and 23 percent would like to see a high-level executive making coffee.  Twenty-one percent want to see video of a co-worker taking a nap at their desk, 12 percent want to see video of inappropriate behavior at an office party and 11 percent would watch a co-worker “pigging out” in the workplace kitchen. The study also found that men are slightly more likely to enjoy these videos over women.

With smartphone adoption rates on the rise, it’s very likely that this tendency to invade other people’s privacy will result in embarrassment if videos become public. In addition, any video that reaches viral status may end up landing the filmmaker in court.