Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Sure, Department Store Staff Can See Into Your Dressing Room. They Aren't Pervs, They Just Think You're a Thief.

She's smiling because she asked to be looked at (Photo by GWImages via Shutterstock)
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

If you ever feel like you're being watched while you try on clothes in the department store dressing room, well, maybe you are. A CBS2 undercover op reveals that the doors of several area department stores are deliberately designed so that store employees can see in. Oh, but don't worry, it's not because they're pervy, it's because they think you're a thief.CBS2 interviewed a Macy's employee who asked to remain anonymous:

"I was shown the fitting room by another detective who was a man," he tells us. "In the women's department of the store, the slats or louvers of the doors were not pointed down, but they were pointed up where from the outside. When the door is closed, you can see in, and pretty plainly see in." The whistleblower says he was told dressing room doors were intentionally hung in a way that allowed employees to monitor customers to prevent shoplifting.

In addition to finding these kinds of doors at Macy's, CBS2 says they found similar doors in dressing rooms in adult and children's departments all over the city, at stores like Ann Taylor Loft and Saks Fifth Avenue as well. Macy's faced a similar probe in Florida this year, as well.

So is this legal? A rep from the ACLU says California law states that "anyone who looks through a hole or opening of a changing room or fitting room - which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy - with the intent to invade privacy is breaking the law." He deems what Macy's and other stores are doing "playing with fire" when it comes to treading the fine line between loss prevention measures and invasion of privacy.

Support for LAist comes from

Seems like if you don't want to be seen stripping to your skivvies while you shop for new duds, you might want to either buy on the spot and return what doesn't fit after you check it out at home, or, uh, just drape some clothes over the slats while you're in the stall and beat them at their own game.