About a year ago I purchased a cloud-enabled security camera. These cameras connect to the Internet directly, without needing a computer at all. This particular model also integrated with a smartphone app, so you can view the camera with your phone, theoretically anywhere you have access to the Internet. I purchased the camera for an additional layer of security. I was especially interested in the motion detection feature. I was under the impression the app would put a notification on my phone if the camera detected motion. During the camera setup, I configured it to upload a burst of images to my FTP server if it detected motion.

I placed the camera in my living room, facing my kitchen and the entry way. After setting it all up and turning on motion detection, I went to work. I came home and I thought that me opening the door would have triggered the motion detection. My phone, however, didn’t send me any notifications and I certainly had access to the Internet. The app worked though as a viewer because I could see a live stream from work. I didn’t really tinker with the motion detection much more and I just assumed that feature was broken.

Fast-forward to today. Having lots of time on my hands, I decided to revisit the motion detection feature in an attempt to see what was wrong. Just for fun, I connected to my FTP server and looked in the directory where any images would have been uploaded. To my surprise, there were over 60 thousand images in that directory. The motion detection feature was working actually working and it had been sending anywhere between three to five images anytime I crossed in front of the camera for a period of about a year. The only thing that was indeed broken was the notification feature. I never knew the camera was detecting motion and sending all these images to my server.

As I looked at the directory, it dawned on me how much the camera captured over the course of the year. The majority of the images were just me doing normal stuff, walking to my sofa, watching TV or a movie, or cooking food in the kitchen. Then I realized there was no doubt the camera captured some images of me naked. The reason for this is that I often put my freshly done laundry on my sofa because I’m too lazy to sort it and put it away immediately. So, I frequently come out of the shower into the living room naked, to pick up a fresh pair of underwear. I don’t know how many of those 60k images are of naked me, looking for my ginch but I knew there were in that directory.

I was so shocked at how much space these files were taking up that I immediately went ahead and started deleting the whole directory. In hindsight, it would have been interesting to see what those 60k images captured (other than naked me). My FTP program took over two hours to delete those files, which is crazy. I turned off the motion detection feature for now since I’m home all the time.

It’s amusing to think my security camera was documenting a whole year of my life in the living room and kitchen.

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