JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Firm to pay Aussies for spying on UK shoplifters


CCTV Photo: Graham Tidy

Australians keen on a bit of armchair surveillance can now join Britain's fight against crime by monitoring CCTV footage live from the UK and earn up to £250 ($386.87) a month by doing so.

English-based website Internet Eyes has in 2013 started streaming Down Under 10-minute clips from businesses including supermarkets. It first spoke of an Australian launch in 2009.

Subscribers who see an act of shoplifting or anti-social behaviour in the aisles can send an online alert to the business.

"We've had dozens of requests from people in Australia to be able to access the site ... people are fascinated by the fact that they can make a difference from their own home," Internet Eyes founder Tony Morgan told AAP.

Business owners pay to have the cameras installed and managed, and monitors need to buy a STG1.99 ($A3.10) per month subscription enabling them to view.

"We have to charge viewers so that we have a little bit of control, so if they abuse the system we can lock them out," Mr Morgan said.

Australia is the first southern hemisphere country where access to the site has been made available, and Mr Morgan said he hopes to make use of the time difference, providing 'coverage' when his European viewers are sleeping.

"Hopefully we can also roll out a network of cameras in Australia, which can be monitored by people here [in the UK]," he said.

"We've had an Australian lawyer look at it and he's come back with a positive, there don't seem to be any legal problems with it being used down there."

Mr Morgan denies Internet Eyes is capitalising on free labour and points out that viewers are eligible for payment.

"We reward ... for each successful spotting and those build up over the month and the people that see the most get paid the most," he said.

"It's very important that Internet Eyes is seen not as prize money, but as reward money. Just as if someone witnesses a crime in the street and reports it to police, they will often be eligible for a reward."

Payment is based on a user's rank on a leaderboard and users can earn up to a month. "There's a new opportunity for cash rewards for over 80 people every month of up to £250 ($386.87)," Internet Eye's website states.

On average, Mr Morgan said there are about 35 'hits' per day, of which up to 40 per cent end up as proven incidents.

AAP and Fairfax Media


  • Takes nosy neighbours to a new level. Now they can be paid. Presumably there are no controls over where the private company situates its cameras. I already avoid shopping in stores with cameras in change rooms. Oh, you hadn't realised>

    Date and time
    January 07, 2013, 9:29AM
    • So what? It's not like there aren't already nude photos of me on the internet.

      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 12:49PM
  • "We have to charge viewers so that we have a little bit of control, so if they abuse the system we can lock them out,"

    Nonsense. You only need them to register to use the service. If they abuse the system their account can be frozen/deleted. You would need the monitors bank details to pay them, which could also be used to verify id, but a fee is not required.

    The fee is part of the revenue model to generate profit. If you get 1000 people to subscribe at $3 per month, that's $3k plus whatever the retailers pay. And then the monitors' income is based on a leaderboard - expect lots of people to sign up to this and complain how hard it is to actually earn anything etc.

    Date and time
    January 07, 2013, 10:09AM
    • All I'm waiting for now is their letter of introduction from their Head Office in Nigeria.....

      Blank Jim
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 12:45PM
  • There are no cameras in change rooms. CCTVs are there for our protection and the stores'. If you have not commited a crime you should have nothing to fear.

    If anything, we need more of that here in Australia and tougher laws to combat the rampant shoplifting. Loss of income from thefts is part of the reason why consumers pay so much for our products.

    Date and time
    January 07, 2013, 10:16AM
    • Obviously, you've never been accused of committing a crime and stacked with 'overwhelming' evidence of being in the vicinity. It's not a surprising attitude considering the public lynchings the Australian public loves to do.

      Stores have no right to film or view you while changing, unless you agree. They should make that very clear and plain. Otherwise, none of the stupid junk clother they sell is worth you're dignity.

      Knee Jerk
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 12:30PM
    • And when a video of you doing something silly ends up on youtube your'e Ok with that are you?

      Brian of Narangba
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 12:31PM
  • @Troppo ... Assuming you live/shop in NSW, video surveillance cameras are illegal in change rooms, washrooms and bathrooms where people disrobe. If such a store uses cameras in change rooms you need to report them to police.

    Date and time
    January 07, 2013, 10:29AM
    • Just the sort of activity so many "Aussies" would happily embrace, to supplement their perchant for spying on neighbours, dobbing people in to the council or police for all manner of petty matters and the general meddling in other peoples' business.

      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 10:40AM
      • As predicted by George Orwell.
        England and especially London has more cameras than anywhere else in the world.
        Seems a bit pointless for us to be the watchers due to the time difference.
        The one who seem to benefit the most is the security company who charge both the stores as well as the monitors.

        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 10:53AM

        More comments

        Comments are now closed

        HuffPost Australia

        Follow Us

        Featured advertisers