Everyday Usability

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Privacy: on or off?

Yesterday we came across a shop register desk that was protected by a security camera. It was a Panasonic BL C10, like the one in the picture, and what struck us most was the button labeled 'privacy'. The TrustedReviews website explains how this works: A useful feature is a privacy button underneath the lens mounting as pressing this will cause the lens to retreat inside its mounting and the video feed to be switched off.

Then I wondered if the green LED on the button is on when the privacy is 'on' or when the privacy is 'off' but the camera is 'on'. This seems to be a potential usability issue, that I might want to test on some people. However, what's the use of the security camera if the 'misbehaving' can switch the camera off? Well, they thought of a solution for this: It’s a handy feature for turning surveillance off and on as required but it can be disabled remotely.


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