A Swann smart security camera system sent video footage from within a family home to another user via its app.
The BBC reports that one of its staff members became aware of the problem after she received a notification that movement had been detected by the camera within her home.
Logging into the app, she was greeted by a video clip of a home kitchen — and not her own.
Further alerts that day included more footage that showed a man and woman in the kitchen, and even the sound of a child’s voice in the background. At this point, the BBC staffer reported the incident to Swann who said they would look into it on Monday (the issue first became apparent on Saturday).
A spokeswoman for Swann later confirmed that the problem had arisen due to a human error at the factory level, which had seen two of their cameras issued with the same security key.
Apparently, the family whose kitchen had been recorded and sent to the BBC staffer had ignored a warning prompt alerting them to the duplicate key once they connected the camera to their WiFi network.
Swann have maintained that this is an unfortunate one-off issue, but the BBC have found another similar scenario earlier this year.
The Obscure Brewer (@Battwave on Twitter) tweeted out photos of stills he’d received on his Swann Security app from a pub beer garden — again, not his own.
— The Obscure Brewer (@Battwave) May 30, 2018
Swann confirmed that the issue was under investigation but was likely due to the fact that both The Obscure Brewer and the pub in question had registered with the same username and password.
Gizmodo, however, is suspicious — and we’re inclined to agree. As they say, it should be impossible to register two accounts with the same username and it surely defies the odds that two completely different people would choose exactly the same username and password?
Issues like these are almost inevitable as the smart security industry grows and learns from its mistakes, but there’s no doubt that this sort of publicity merely serves to heighten the public’s fears surrounding online security cameras and hacking threats.
The last thing any of us want to do is to make our homes more vulnerable with this type of technology.