Door viewers are a global hotel standard. They offer a limited view of who is on the outside of your door, which is the first and last barrier between you and potentially dangerous situations. While developed for privacy protection, secure peepholes also provide an easy way to breach privacy. Reverse peephole viewers are cheap and easily available. Simply place the viewer up to any standard peephole and the viewer will reverse the view, allowing you to see through the peephole to the other side.
ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was one of more than a dozen women secretly taped nude in her hotel room. Michael David Barrett has not been charged in the other cases but attorney Marshall Grossman told “Good Morning America” in an exclusive interview that he may have posted as many as 40 videos of other women. “We have credible, determined evidence that Mr. Barrett did the same thing, not just with Erin, not just with a few others, but with 17 other women,” he said. “Most of the rest of them have no idea their images were taken.” The privacy invasion incident sparked Andrew’s to file a $10 Million lawsuit against the Marriott Hotel and Andrew’s alleged stalker.
This picture was taken through a hotel peephole from the hallway using a reverse door viewer and a digital camera. Door viewer covers are necessary to protect and secure privacy, especially given the simplicity and availability of reverse door viewers. In this case, the woman was aware the picture was being taken, but oftentimes these crimes go left unknown.
Peephole Security & Tampering
Peephole security and tampering is not new. It has always been there, but now it is finally catching our attention. The following articles show that this is not a new problem or only a hotel problem. It’s our problem, at home, at school, and while traveling.
Inspect Your Peephole
Although hotels are becoming more proactive, problems still persist. Some people still think it’s funny to reverse the hotel room peephole as they check out. Guests are smearing toothpaste and Vaseline into the peephole to block illegal viewing. This may stop voyeurs but it also prevents you from knowing who is at the door which puts your safety in jeopardy. Unless the hotel staff is diligent and checks each peephole between guests it is up to you to inspect the peephole to ensure your safety.
As soon as you get to your room inspect the peephole from both sides. Do they have SecureAview peephole covers installed? Is the peephole loose? Is it installed backwards? Are there gouges on the outside which could indicate tampering. Is the view clear? If you notice any problems ask for another room or another hotel. Never open the door without knowing who it is. If you are unsure, call the front desk for their assistance.
Replace Your Peephole
Peepholes come in two parts which screw together from each side of the door. The part on the inside of the door has two notches. Place a large screw driver into the notches and unscrew this part while holding the outside part still. Unscrew all of the way and remove each part from the door. Measure the diameter of the hole and purchase a peephole of the same diameter. For the fullest view, purchase a peephole with at least 180 degree view. The new peephole screws together like the one you removed.