CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cameras watch us in almost every store. They’re above us and they’re close. But how close is too close?
We showed almost a dozen women a photo taken inside a Kohl’s department store on Independence Boulevard in Matthews. The photo was taken by a woman named Julia, who doesn’t want her face shown, although, at this point, Julia’s worried someone may have seen a whole lot more than just her face.
Julia was changing, and was at one point topless when soon after she noticed that black circular eyeball camera in the reflection of her dressing room mirror. The camera was outside a particular dressing room which has walls but no ceiling above the door.
“So I’m guessing, if I can see it, they can see me,” she said.
The bigger question here is, who is ‘they’? And is this a one-store fluke?
The NBC Charlotte I-Team investigated the dressing areas of another Kohl’s department store, this one on South Boulevard at I-485. Like the Kohl’s in Matthews, some of the changing rooms are walled, roofed, and secluded in very private areas, but some aren’t.
Our NBC Charlotte female co-worker and her phone could see the camera in the mirror’s reflection in the changing rooms in the front of the store.
Is someone watching? Are they recording? And if so, what becomes of that footage? Julia’s husband wanted to know those answers, so he sent an email to Kohl’s explaining his wife’s revealing experience.
Julia says a manager called back saying “don’t worry.”
Julia said the manager also told her “that this is the design of the store and that you can’t see anything below the top of the head of a person who is 6’2”.
The I-Team contacted the Kohl’s corporate offices. We wanted to know if that camera can see into the mirror, and we wanted to know if it’s recorded. We also wanted to know what happens to the footage if it is recorded.
After five emails, two phone calls, two tweets and a Facebook post to Kohl’s, which they took down, NBC Charlotte finally got a response from their public relations department.
Kohl’s thanked me for contacting them and said, “We can assure you that the security camera in question did not view the customer…and because the camera didn’t see the customer, there is no video to share.”
In that series of emails back and forth to Kohl’s, NBC Charlotte did ask to see that specific security camera angle from the Matthews store, but the Kohl’s media team never addressed our specific request.
Kohl’s also did not answer the questions about whether or not their security cameras are recorded and if so, what happens to the footage. If you would like to comment to Kohl’s, you can reach them through their Facebook page here and you can tweet Kohl’s here.