By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Most shoppers assume a certain level of privacy when entering the fitting room of a clothing store.

But depending where you shop, you could be leaving yourself exposed to anyone who walks by.

One Macy’s shopper was horrified to learn the dressing room doors offered little protection from peering eyes on the other side.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

“There’s no way you could change in there and have any kind of privacy, it’s not private, that’s scary anybody could walk by with a camera.”

Here’s the problem, the slats in the fitting room doors face inward and down, allowing a clear view of the person inside.

We used a hidden camera and photographed a producer inside a Macy’s dressing room. It’s deceiving, because from the inside, you cannot see out, so you feel secure.

This man, who did not want to be identified, worked in loss prevention at Macy’s in another part of the country.

He says this is done intentionally to prevent shoplifting.

“I was shown the fitting rooms by another detective who was a man. 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, once the doors closed, you can see in and pretty plainly see in.”

This is a problem that has been documented by CBS affiliates all over the country, and it didn’t take us long to find it here. Including the Macy’s at CambridgeSide Galleria.

We also discovered similar doors at the Lord and Taylor in Natick.

Massachusetts law allows security personnel to monitor dressing rooms as long there is a posted sign warning shoppers.

“I knew for a fact that our, customers did not know that this meant that we could see their private body parts, we could see them naked.”

Most customers also don’t know that anybody walking by could see in.

Macy’s told us their fitting rooms have different designs because the company has taken over several new locations.

But now promises, “All fitting room doors will have outward-facing slats that limit the visibility into the fitting room…”

Lord and Taylor told us:

“….we continue to install new doors with complete privacy as renovations continue.”

For now, this shopper believes there’s only one solution.

“I don’t think I’ll ever try on anything again, honestly, I’ll buy things and take them home .. Try them on, and bring them back.”

A lot of extra work to maintain your privacy.


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