spying on competitors

Nearly six million people (11%) across the country are using smart devices such as phone locating software, indoor security cameras, smart door bells and other devices to play ‘Big Brother’, according to new research from Direct Line Home Insurance.

Of those who track the people around them, over two million do so without telling them they are being watched or monitored. This number could grow substantially, as over 12 million people (24%) who do not use their smart technology to track others admit they probably would consider doing so in the future.

The group most likely to be monitored are children, with almost four million parents (13%) already monitoring their offspring and nearly eight million (27%) intending to do so in the future.

Of those who said they would track their child, a quarter of parents (24%) would do so without telling them.

The main reason why parents monitor their children is for peace of mind (54%), with more than two fifths (43%) of parents believing their child’s safety is more important than their independence and use technology to ensure there have not been any accidents and their children aren’t in any danger.

One in five (20%) Brits also admitted they would happily monitor an employee, like a babysitter or cleaner, remotely using smart technology and almost half (43%) of these people do not think they would tell them they were being watched.

Technology also allows people to keep tabs on their partners, with one in 20 (5%) people already monitoring their partners and a further 4.7 million saying they would if they were given the opportunity.