Remote webcam mode - why we refuse to remove the warning banner

One of the most interesting features in Remote Utilities is the ability to connect to a remote computer’s camera and watch what is happening in the room. The camera can be an external webcam attached to the PC or a built-in camera in a notebook. This connection mode is very handy, for example, when you need to look after your kids playing while you’re at work. You can also capture sound from the camera microphone, allowing you not only see but also hear what is happening in the room.

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The remote webcam mode, however, has one notable privacy feature that some may consider a limitation. During the “remote surveillance” session the program displays a warning banner on the remote computer screen that reads: “Attention! Video surveillance is activated!” This alerts the user sitting at the remote PC that surveillance is turned on, and someone may be watching them (or listening to what they say).

We sometimes receive messages from users who want to know how to disable the banner. Unfortunately, there’s no way we can do this – and certainly not because it is technically impossible. The reason we don’t disable the feature is that we strictly follow our own “code of conduct” in everything related to people’s privacy.

It should be noted that Remote Utilities is remote desktop software primarily indented for remote administration and support. It has never been meant to be used for spying or eavesdropping. It also worth mentioning that we operate internationally and our product is used in many countries around the globe. It’s exceedingly difficult to tailor the product to the specific privacy protection laws in every country. Therefore, the prudent solution is simply to display a warning message whenever there is the potential to violate a remote user’s privacy. We firmly believe that it must be up to the user on the other end of the line to decide whether they want to be seen and/or heard by someone thousands of miles away.

We live in a world where our privacy is impugned upon by mobile network carriers, the almighty Google and other web services, as well as numerous smaller applications that reside on our PCs and smartphones. As with any networking tool, Remote Utilities can be used for good or for evil, depending on the intentions of the person who uses it. But at Remote Utilities we will do our best to prevent the possibility of using Remote Utilities for malicious purposes.