August 10, 2015 3:14 pm
Updated: August 11, 2015 11:07 am

Toronto woman’s webcam hacked while watching Netflix

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WATCH: Police are investigating after a Toronto woman who was sent intimate photos of herself and her boyfriend watching Netflix from the previous night via Facebook. Toronto Police say it will be tough to investigate because of a number of issues but they’re looking into it. Caryn Lieberman has the story.

TORONTO — Police are raising alarms about online privacy after they say a hacker sent a 27-year-old Toronto woman intimate photos of herself and her boyfriend watching Netflix from the previous night.

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“What a terrifying notion. It was a really bizarre thing to receive those messages and it really took a second to be like, ‘Oh my God, that’s what this means, that’s the implication of receiving this message is someone was just watching us,'” Chelsea Clark told Newstalk1010.

“We obviously had no idea it was taking place in the moment, but retroactively it was like a really, really deeply creepy feeling. It was very unnerving. I mean it does feel like there’s someone just in your home with you.”

Davis Carr, a Ryerson media student, said her friends cover their webcams with a piece of tape for fear someone could be watching.

WATCH: Netflix hack compromises couple’s privacy. Tech reporter Nicole Bogart explains.

READ MORE: ‘Eerie music,’ voice heard after Internet camera in nursery hacked: Ontario police

Ann Cavoukian, former Ontario privacy commissioner and current executive director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University, told Global News the incident was more than just a privacy issue.

“Not only is it a major invasion of privacy, but it’s also a very significant violation of property rights,” she said.

“This couple’s property, their computer, was basically accessed completely inappropriately in an unauthorized manner and then to add insult to injury, the webcam was used to capture them in very intimate moments within their home where privacy is sacrosanct. So this is completely unacceptable, law enforcement should be completely all over this.”

Toronto police said Clark reported the incident immediately after she received the pictures of herself on July 23, adding that an investigation is ongoing and the computer had been seized for analysis. 

“The best thing you can do is close your laptop after you’ve used it. Don’t just kind of fall asleep with your laptop open and put it over to the side,” said Const. Scott Mills.

“Definitely more awareness could help, it’s definitely possible that your webcam can get hacked, so you need to be aware of that but I don’t think it’s time to hit the panic button or anything like that.”

Mills said Toronto police cyber crime officers specialize in this type of situation and that “police will take this seriously and we will assign an investigator to it.”

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