An 80-year-old woman in Northern Ireland makes money by watching internet cameras all day, and she’s fighting crime in the process.
From her home in Ballyhalbert, Barbara Morrow scans up to six different camera feeds a day, waiting and watching for suspicious activity from inside stores and on city streets more than 5,000 miles away.
“I just like catching shoplifters,” she says. “I think I should have been a vigilante or something.”
Morrow uses a service called Internet Eyes, an online system that helps companies in Brazil thwart crime, such as shoplifting, in their stores. Companies sign up and place their security cameras online, and people like Morrow log in and watch — alerting the companies if there’s something they need to know about.
The service, and Morrow, were recently featured on Codebreaker, the podcast Marketplace produces with Business Insider, which explored the use of surveillance cameras and how they are being used throughout society.
On the show, Morrow explains that she watches the feeds for activity, and hits the a big red alert button if she sees something suspicious. For example, she explains, one report might say, “lady in red coat put chocolate in her pocket.”
Her report then goes to the store owner, who may catch the shoplifter in the act. And for her report, she gets a few bucks.
“Barbara is way up there on the watcher leaderboard,” Codebreaker host Ben Johnson says, “usually in the top three.”
Listen to the full podcast below, and subscribe to the full season on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
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