Get Paid to Be Big Brother!

  • One camera for every 15 Britons
  • Earn up to $1,500 for catching offenders
  • Privacy groups not happy

A British company, Internet Eyes, has come up with a novel way to stop crime, but at the same time sent warning bells to civil libertarians.

Arguably the most watched society in the world with an estimated 4 million public and private cameras (that’s one for every five people), Britain now might have turned its CCTV obsession into a pastime that can earn people pounds.

Internet Eyes, based out of Devon, England, has come up with a scheme whereby lounge lizards can sit at home, watch live streams of CCTV footage from stores across the country and dob anybody in who they see shoplifting. To top it all off, these registered laptop store detectives can be in to win over $1,500 if they catch offenders in the act.

Predictably, the shopkeepers are pretty happy about having extra eyes watching the store, with shoplifting claimed to cost retailers about $10 billion a year.

Civil libertarians are not too happy about the development and believes there will be an element of voyeurism, as well as trampling on citizens basic humans rights not to be spied upon.

Internet Eyes’ founder, Tony Morgan, has a different take. As far as he’s concerned the more eyes and ears a shopkeeper has, the better it will be for the industry. He says that people will not be able to follow streams of their local shopping centre, and that the company will comply with data protection laws.