I received an odd email from a reader, who didn’t know how to handle a security issue they’d found. In using Google to research an IP camera—a camera that connects to the Internet for remote storage or streaming access—he happened upon another family’s camera rather than a website about the model. The family had multiple cameras installed in their home, all of which were streaming openly on an indexed webpage.
He was concerned for this family’s privacy, but didn’t know how to contact them, and so he left the page. He bookmarked it and checked a couple of times to see if it was a temporary problem. Finally, he emailed me, wondering if as a reporter I would seem less creepy finding and emailing the owners. I did, and the homeowner wasn’t freaked out: He had turned off a password during a problem, and forgot to ever re-enable it. He was thankful, and I passed that back to my reader, who was relieved of his ethical burden.