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Australian Government - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Home

Don’t leave your webcam open to view

If you have an internet connected webcam installed in your organisation or home, you should ensure that you have changed the manufacturer’s default username and password. Instructions on how to do this should be available in the user manual for your device model or online.

A website called Insecam is claiming to aggregate live footage from internet connected cameras that use default manufacturer usernames and passwords. The website features thousands of links to live video streams from around the world, including houses, businesses and other locations in Australia. Internet connected cameras are also commonly used as security cameras and baby monitors.

Default usernames and passwords for webcams made by most manufacturers are readily obtained online. Like any internet connected device, you should change its default username and password when you set it up. If you do not, your device may be accessible to the general public.

Organisations with obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 should be aware of the requirements of APP 11 — Security of personal information. Organisations using internet connected cameras may be collecting personal information. The Privacy Act requires that reasonable steps be taken to protect personal information held from misuse, interference and loss, as well as unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. More information is available in the OAIC’s APP Guidelines.

For more information about the Insecam website, see the Stay Smart Online alert.