iSight in iMAcs for monitoring

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by iansilv, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. iansilv macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Does anyone have anyidea how to do this:

    Four imacs, each with the brand new isight camera built in. We want to use the built in isightcamera to monitor the employees while they are working, without them knowing. any thoughts?
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I'm glad I don't work for you.
  3. 119576 Guest


    Aug 6, 2007
    That's a breach of your employees' privacy. If you're monitoring them, you should tell them.
  4. splashtech macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2007
    Does the imac not have a small green LED next to the isight lens? My macbook has a small LED which lights up when the isight is in use.

    And TBH... thats a rather nasty thing to do. Do you not trust your employees? I'd quit a job if I found the employer was webcam-spying on me 8 hours a day and keeping it from me! :eek:
  5. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    Well, iSight was designed so the green light turns on when the camera is active so people like you wouldn't be able to violate people's privacy, I don't think you are going to find much for help on this one, even if it is possible.
  6. iansilv thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    Holy cow! i agree with everyone here on principle! Now- factor this in- the employees that need ot be monitored may be doing some illegal stuff. And in their employee manuals, they have signed saying that they agree to be monitored.

    and it's not all of them! Sheesh!
  7. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
    I'd use white out.
  8. splashtech macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2007
    Maybe your company's recruitment procedure needs looking at.

    I fail to see how having a good view of their face will help you determine if they are doing "some illegal stuff" and if so, what. :confused: I would suggest the better approach would be to have a (discreet but noticable) security camera mounted somewhere - perhaps on a wall or in a corner. That way you will get a better view of what is happening and not whether Dave in the corner is picking his nose or not.

    Disclaimer: no offense to anyone with the name Dave intended...
  9. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Yeah, seems like a keystroke logger plus a separate security camera would be the more effective approach.
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    If you have evidence that someone is doing illegal things, then call the cops.

    Sounds like Enron ethics to me.

    If your "good" employees find out you're spying on them, they'll likely leave your company. Unless you're running a sweat shop or something.
  11. barkins macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2006
    Encino, CA
    I don't really see the big deal in monitoring employees, but using the isight would only show people staring at a monitor, what good is that? :confused:
  12. jota73 macrumors 6502


    Apr 19, 2006
    South America
    check this software
  13. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2005
    New York
    I don't really agree with what you are doing but thats NOT what I'm posting about now...

    See, like a previous poster mentioned, all macs have a green status light HARDWIRED into the area next to the camera. Now anyone with ANY knowledge of macs would notice that its on immediately.
  14. aswitcher macrumors 603


    Oct 8, 2003
    Canberra OZ
    Yeah SecuritySpy works very well. I now run it on my iMac when I got away.
  15. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    sounds like you need to find more trustworthy employees. I also like how you justify this by "agreeing on principle...and it's not like you're spying on everyone"

    anyways, you will be looking at 8 hour recordings of their face, and they'll know you're doing it too. I'd just install actual cameras in your office and call it a day.
  16. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    Looking at your employees' faces won't tell you anything about illegal activity (unless you get them to sign a contract that tells them to hold up a mirror in front of them all the time).

    However if you use Leopard, you can set the iMacs to be monitored by another user on the network.

    Since I don't agree with this procedure in a workplace no matter what your employees have signed, I leave you to find out how it's done :)
  17. JimmyDThing macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2007
    Here's the deal.

    Those of you saying that it's "illegal"... no it's not. Any time you take a job you sign a crap load of things and I guarantee you that you have signed away your privacy while at work.

    They have the right to monitor phone calls, internet usage (including email and messaging), anything... and they have this right. They own everything you are using and they are paying you to do your job.

    I happen to think there is no real reason to monitor employees... but then again I'm not the one spending the dough and expecting them to act professionally and do their work. If there are employees suspect of illegal activity and all your computers have built in camera's... yeah, you use them... and you have every right to legally.

    How do you know what they're doing illegally is on the computer and not a physical activity that could possibly be caught on the camera?

    I understand everyones issues with privacy... but when you are at work, you should probably expect to be monitored.
  18. Halcyon macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2006
    What you want to do is not illegal, is not unethical and even if in my own personal point of view I do not agree with such practice, you asked for some technical advice so here it is.

    Like it was already said, i don't know if a fix camera (built in iSight) is going to reveal anything to you, but if it does work for you find a way to cover the green light...obviously.

    If monitoring what the employees do with the computer itself, you might want to use something like Timbuktu so you can monitor what exactly is going in the computer.

    Add to this a keystroke logger and another camera installed elsewhere and you are almost covered...and I say almost, because a crook's motivation is to find the way to overpass security systems.

  19. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Such a thing does not exist.

    True statement. However, consider that he may need to document what they're doing wrong so they can be dismissed for cause in order to be able to replace them with more trustworthy employees.

    I wouldn't want to be monitored to that extent. I even insist on a private office, and can't work in a cube. But the fact is that if an employer wants to monitor people that way, they can, and claims of 'privacy' are baseless. We can read your email, listen to your phone calls, record your screen and keystrokes, etc. as much as we feel is necessary. Good companies only do this when they have to (like investigating a theft or sexual harrassment case). Bad companies do it as a matter of daily business. Your only recourse is to work elsewhere.
  20. xXriderXx7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2007
    Lake Elsinore, California
    I think the best idea is the noticeable security cameras.
    It would deter your employees from committing wrongful deeds, ad you wouldnt have to go through the trouble of either covering up the green LED, or discovery a way to actually monitor through the iSight.
  21. absurdio macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2003
    RI, Chi, and/or NY.
    Workers sell their time, not their dignity. Privacy may be dismissible to you; in part, that's likely because it sounds to you very much like "inefficiency," and in part because you don't have to live with the threat of being monitored all the time.

    Incidentally, I use "you" because you, Baron (how appropriate), have done such a very good job highlighting the disparity between workers and bosses. You've done a fine job underscoring the disdain, disrespect, and hostility that lousy bosses have for workers.

    First off, I doubt very much that you can without notifying your employees (whether or not that's the case here is still a bit nebulous). Second - and more importantly - that's a sickening, haughty, and bourgeois attitude you have. I hope you choke on it.

    Thank you. I encourage the workers with integrity to do exactly that. May the Barons of the world be left with only the disloyal cheats for employees that they're so desperately seeking.
  22. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    What gets to me is the kind of resources being used to find out if an employee is doing something illegal. You would have to monitor them all the time, and spend a lot of money doing so. The only thing this leads to is eventually finding out that the employee is doing something wrong and firing him. This could have been done a long time ago without wasting a lot of time and money. But hell I am just a little socialistic bastard anyway, so there you go.
  23. JimmyDThing macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2007
    You, sir, are quite naive. You're right that you can't without notifying your employees, but everyone notifies their employees... in the fine print. I guarantee no matter where you work (with mom and pop shops aside), you have signed an acknowledgment of their right to do things such as record/listen to your phone calls, all internet activity, and even your actions should they decide to pursue using cameras. They are covering their bases. You can't have a business and wait for a problem to decide to ask for permission to do these things... because then you won't get it.

    Whether this is moral or not, I don't really care. In my opinion, if you're at work, you shouldn't be doing anything that you're worried about "getting caught" doing.... you are supposed to be acting professional while on the clock. Personal lives are another matter... it doesn't matter if you're doing anything wrong or not, in your personal life, the GOVERNMENT needs a plausible reason to breech your privacy. But when you work for a company, they own everything and you are working for them.

    If you want to discuss the repercussions of having this attitude as a boss and using all these abilities to instill fear in your employees, then create another thread. What we are talking about here is th RIGHT... and companies DO have the RIGHT. I tend to agree with you that using these abilities when not necessary only creates a hostile work environment which will, in turn, do nothing but hurt production. But you are twisting the statements being made here to make it seem as though companies shouldn't have the right to do these things... they should have the right, they own everything in the building and they are paying their employees to be there. The ethics of using it is a completely different matter.
  24. JimmyDThing macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2007
    It is totally worth it. If you're employee is doing something illegal, you're whole company is at risk. If that employee puts other employees in jeopardy, be prepared to be sued by every single one of them for allowing it to happen.
  25. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    I'm not so sure about the USA but in the UK I know for a fact, companies are NOT ALLOWED to look at CONTENTS of e-mails under law unless they have specific evidence, and even then they can only highlight ones with certain key words, i.e. do a search for e-mails. this would probably be based on key words.

    This happened at my company, they did a whole big sweep of e-mails and fired a lot of people, but they had to re-employ a load and give them compensation because what the company did was illegal :)

    If you look at the European Working Rights then you will see, every employee under law is allowed some form of communication that is not to do with work, be it e-mail or phone calls and the companies are not allowed to monitor this and it should not degrade your productive time.

    i.e. send e-mails in your break.

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