A Santa spy cam, designed to make children ‘behave perfectly’, has sparked controversy as it’s seen by some as normalising surveillance.
Every parent wants their little one to be on their best behaviour, and using Santa’s presents as a bargaining chip during Christmas is the oldest trick in the book.
But just telling them Santa is watching their every move to decide if they’ll be on the naughty or nice list may not be enough anymore, as some parents have started including a ‘Santa spy cam’ in their Christmas traditions.
The Elf Surveillance Dummy Security Camera, available on Amazon, is one of the many spy cams that you can buy so your children think they’re being watched by elves.
Experts have warned parents against using the spy cam with their kids
The product is described as a ‘dummy security camera’ that will make your children ‘behave perfectly under the watchful eyes of the elves’.
The replica is not actually surveillance equipment, but rather a toy with a red flashing light that will make kids think the elves are watching them.
But while some parents think it’s a great way to make children behave during this time of year, the product hasn’t been considered a hit by everyone.
Renate Samson, spokesperson for the Big Brother Watch who campaign to ensure ‘privacy and civil liberties are maintained in the digital age’, said the trend could be normalising surveillance for children, which should not be encouraged.
‘Childhood is a time for being both naughty and nice, for learning about how society works, what’s right and what’s wrong,’ the spokesperson said.
‘It’s not a time for thinking everything you do is going to be filmed and someone is going to punish you for it.
‘This kind of gimmick makes light of surveillance but it’s not a joke. We should discourage children from feeling as if they’re living in some sort of panoptic state.’
The company who make the toy, PMS International, reacted to the controversy by saying: ‘There is no sinister intention behind the products. Families who take part in the elf phenomenon enjoy this Christmas ritual enormously.’
Would you do this with your kids? Let us know in the comments!